Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Concerning pajamas and games

Being a Mom of preschoolers, I find one of my sanity outlets is to attend my local MOPS meetings. If you haven't heard of it, MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers which is an international organization with local chapters purely intended to support and encourage Moms of small children. Its a lot of fun. We have people take care of our kids for us while we enjoy brunch and visit, do crafts or listen to speakers. Today's special thing was pajama/game day.

Now I am not a pajama person. For me pajamas, whatever their type, are for night when going to bed. If I am in pajamas in the morning, it is because I haven't gotten my shower yet or I am sick. If I stay in my pajamas on a day when I am fine, I start to feel like something is wrong and I have no motivation to do anything at all. I don't normally think about pajamas much at all, but at my MOPS group I am obviously in the minority. I have found that most of the others love to stay in their pajamas all day. It's a special treat for them and their kids. I think that I tried once to convince my oldest child to wear her pajamas to a similar event about a year ago, and she thought I was out of my mind. She has relaxed her attitude a little and now likes to have breakfast in her pajamas.

It is a little amusing to see people in their pajamas out in public. It helps if they have presentable ones. One of the moms had to go get groceries on the way home from a pajama day last year and bravely used the laundry detergent in her cart as her excuse. I find that I have three categories of pajamas. There are the "not for public viewing-husbands eyes only type," "the frumpy but could pass a public viewing OK", and the threadbare mumu style that I am currently using because at six months pregnant nothing else fits comfortably for sleeping. I decided to dress normally, but casually instead (Nope, my sweats don't fit either). Oldest child went in leggings and slightly large T-shirt. Younger child in flannel pants and knit top. If the idea of a pajama day is to be comfortable, we did it, too. If the idea is to be silly and laugh at yourself, we can manage that too. If you have young children, you need to develop the ability to be as silly with them in public as you are in private, otherwise you will be frequently embarrassed.

Oh, and the games were fun too. I've found that I am horrible at Spoons, slightly better at Pit, excellent at Charades, and OK at Cranium and Outburst. The excellent rating at charades is purely from practice. I normally don't think well on my feet or like to act in front of people. But, back in college I hung out with our church college group a lot. Charades and Dictionary were the favorite games at nearly every social gathering. I have never played charades in such a cut-throat atmoshere before. We had pre-med and nursing students, literature majors, political science majors, psychology students, ex-military personnel, and individuals into auto-reconstruction. The idea is you split these people of wide ranging interests into two teams, take about ten to fifteen minutes for each team to come up with words or phrases for the other team to act out and guess. The harder the list, the less likely the other team will be able to either act it out or guess. Most of the time each list was filled with obscure words or phrases from each person's specialty. The hardest one I had to try to act out was "onomatopoeia" and I failed miserably. Another memorable one was "Anna Karenina." I didn't have to act that one out, but seem to recall that it was guessed before time ran out. I remember a lot of attempted telepathy as people would act their selection out to the one person in the group they thought might know it.

As for the game of dictionary, I got good at that too. Dictionary is a simple game requiring a dictionary, paper and writing implements. Each person has a turn finding a word in the dictionary for which he thinks nobody present knows the definition. Then he says and spells the word for all assembled. He then writes the real definition on a piece of paper while the others make up their own definitions for the word. The dictionary holder collects the papers and then reads them one at a time (trying to keep a straight face as much as possible). Everybody votes for which one they think is the correct definition. Anybody who guesses the correct definition gets a point and anybody whose false definition was voted for gets as many points as votes were voted. My strategy was to select a word with a weird true definition when holding the dictionary and to make my false definitions sound very dictionary-like. It worked pretty well. Some people gave up on making their definitions sound real and just went for the more hilarious the better. It made for a fun game when people went for laughs. Some of the false definitions were so memorable that my husband and I still refer to them at times. "Darkle" now means to us the lights you see when you close your eyes. "Bruel" means a thick stew prepared in large cauldrons by Scandinavian women.

Sometimes the simple games are the most fun. Though my tastes run more toward computer games like Sims, Civilization, and Pirates these days. Maybe my oldest will be ready for dominoes soon. My grandparents played that one every night (I've never seen anybody count up dominoes from a double twelve set faster than them). My husband and I will backseat drive when one of us is playing a computer game. But we don't play too many other games, especially when we are competing against each other. Our talents are different so one person's preferred game is either boring or frustrating to the other. We both have a competitive streak, too. His is more obvious than mine.

Well, I guess I'm turning out to be more talkative than I thought on my blogs. I think that this is quite enough for tonight.

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