We recently took a family vacation with my husband’s parents, sisters and their families. All together, we had nine children in one house between the ages of eight months and 10 years. I would have to say it was one of the most chaotic and hilarious trips we’ve taken in some time. On one of the evenings we thought it would be fun to have a family game night. Since the number of games you can play with that many people over such a broad age range (and let all of them participate) isn’t that large, we decided on charades.
I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in a long time than I did during that game. I mean, I thought I knew all there was to know about charades, but those kids taught me A LOT.
1. If a four year old lies on the ground in a straight line with no movement, she is a crayon. Not a stick. Not a snake. Not a fish or a worm or a piece of chalk. She is a crayon. Duh.
2. If you can’t guess what someone is, they may cry. If you guess what someone is too fast, they may cry. If you guess the same thing that someone else says but you say it just a little quicker…they may cry. Charades is an emotional minefield.
3. If your child is trying to act out a candy cane and starts by pretending to lick a stick, look away and keep your mouth shut.
4. If your other child shouts out, “getting drunk!” and your brother-in-law looks at you in shock, shrug your shoulders and point at your husband.
5. Guessing the charade correctly does NOT automatically make it your turn. You must go IN ORDER at ALL TIMES so EVERYONE gets a turn. (Or they may cry)
6. If a child gets down on all fours, they are an animal. Even if they do nothing else, you must shout out every single animal you know until you figure out they are a unicorn.
7. If you don’t want to play, too bad, you don’t get a choice. Unless you’re the grandpa.
8. If the same four year old lays on the ground in a straight line but moves her hips a little, she is NOT a crayon. Duh.
9. If you see someone holding their cell phone when you start your turn, don’t be naïve – family is not above blackmail.
10. If you don’t enjoy the sound of people shouting, laughing, screaming and jumping up and down in a small space, charades is not your game.