Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Because of a brief case of strep throat, Stephen did not go to his first day of 1st grade yesterday. (This is either ironic, or appropriate, or both, since Timothy could not go to his 3rd grade Open House on Friday because he had strep.)

So, about halfway through the day yesterday, my wife and Stephen sat down to play a game of Monopoly.
Full-on, no holds barred Monopoly. Not Monopoly Jr., no Kiddie Rules or House Rules to favor the young, and my wife does not dwell in the "let the kids win" camp. She plays to win, even against sick 6 year olds.

He beat her in an hour. "He got all 4 railroads early," was her only excuse.

Last night, after dinner, they were both itching for a rematch, so we all played (Sam was on my wife's team). Timothy picked up the game quickly (why haven't we played this before?), Stephen was on another real estate streak and was perfecting his long-form game. Jonah had some difficulties. He thought that whenever money changed hands it was a land deal. When he paid rent (even $2), he wanted the title; he cried whenever we paid him rent, because he didn't want to give up the property. Sam drove the car around the board and gave me $5 bills from his mom's pile (I gave him hotels in return). My wife kept offering to buy other people's properties, usually at $50-$200 above cost, trying to make a quick set (to their credit, both Timothy and Stephen saw through this strategy and did not sell).

I won, but by such a large margin that I'm afraid that my banking duties must have gotten mixed up with my real-estate deals. If it's unintentional, it's not cheating; I believe it's just wire fraud. Timothy came in second, beating my wife by a couple of hundred dollars (I beat them both by over five hundred). Stephen came in fourth but had the most properties, including the only set. Jonah came in last, but had almost as many properties as Stephen; Jonah also had the widest variety of properties, which would have made him very popular and rich mid-game. Sam had a pile of hotels on the other end of the table that he ran his car through.

About midway through the game, I said that we should get Monopoly Jr. to play with the kids. My wife pointed out that we were playing real Monopoly and doing just fine, so why would we want a dumbed-down version? I replied with an apology and a mumbled statement about having been a public school teacher for too long.

At one point, Stephen landed on a property that cost $220. Seeing that he was out of $100 bills, I told him to give me a $500 and I would give him change. He said, "I've got it," rummaged through is money some, and then handed me a small stack. It was four $50's and a $20. I looked at my wife, she looked at me, and we both shrugged.

I guess we have two boys going to Georgia Tech.


At 2:04 PM, Blogger Becki said...

I use to tease about you and Anslie that you "wouldn't bend down to pick up a nickle!" I'm glad to see that your sons are taking a different course :) How 'bout being able to make change and put together large bills before you spend even the first day in first grade? Way to go, Stephen! (Sounds like your wife learned how to play board games from YOUR dad!) Mom


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