Nothing has reinforced the theory that kids really excel and do well with order and some scheduling like the recent introduction of a new activity to our routine. Routines offer children the much-needed sense of security, establishing a comfort level into their lives. In a world where little is in their control, it allows them to have that sense of control. They are able to understand what follows next or how their day will pan out.
They are growing up so fast and it’s so difficult to keep up with them so the new thing that we introduced was ‘Games Night’. An amazing night of fun and family time. We had no idea how effective this element would be to our little household! The excitement already starts to build up the day before when all the arguments start about what we’re actually going to play. And then, when we finally get to a consensus, choosing teams is the next contentious issue. If I let it get to me I would have a very big head because the boys bicker and banter to be on a team with me 🙂
Usually, I am the one they pick first to be on sides with. Eventually one or more will choose him, they would say something like, “Don’t worry Dad, I’ll be on your team.” Hubby is extremely competitive by nature, he kind of gives his all for most things. He is a ‘All or Nothing’ kind of guy. I think the only reason they choose me first is because they think I’m easy? and their dad has actual standards and rules, but this is just a momentary fear 😉 because they also know if they win on Dads team they will definitely be celebrating, like when Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scores the most amazing winning goal, they will run around the house, t-shirts swooshed over their heads and victory dances galore will be on display. While me and whoever else ended up on my team is rolling our eyes at this unnecessary display of dominance but don’t be mistaken – this is definitely not a sign of us being sore losers 😉 because they usually win!
The twins lean towards monopoly and my older son always wants to play 30 seconds. So we ended up comprising one week, one week then we also have twister and card games in the running. It’s become such a tradition that one evening when we had a school function to attend, on our return, the boys insisted we couldn’t miss games night and the games were brought out and we ended up playing late into the night. Our older son surprises us with his general knowledge, which perfectly explains his preference to 30 seconds. Like, the other day the clue was Morgan Freeman, I didn’t think he would know who that was, but he proclaimed, “The old guy that asks people about religion”. Everyone else playing was confused and no one could answer. When finally he revealed that the answer was Morgan Freeman it clicked that he was in a series on National Geographic called ‘The story of God’, which explored all the religions. A little spark of pride lit up in me, at my smart little chap.
The most phenomenal moment for me though was one evening while playing monopoly, no teams, everyone was playing individually. The twins were sitting crossed legged on the carpet next to each other. They had each purchased properties of the same colour but didn’t have the set therefore couldn’t build houses yet. The rest of us all had a set of properties and already started to purchase houses from the bank. At this point both of them were in despair, for different reasons. One complaining about not having enough money because he was having to pay all of us rental. The other moaning about not being able to buy houses. Much like their father, they do not particularly enjoy losing. Dad is actually a big ‘ol softy always trying to give them loopholes and so to ease their pain, he made a suggestion. “Why don’t you guys become Business partners?” They had no idea that this was possible, hmm, I still don’t know if this is possible in the actual rules of the game. They instantaneously looked at each other, then at us, then back at each other. The sparkle that ignited in their eyes was priceless.
As they took inventory of the properties they each owned and realised between them as business partners they would own a whole block. They screamed each others’ names, high-fived, agreed on the spot, hugged like a couple of times and then shook on the deal (as twins instinctively knowing what the other would do). I have never seen more happiness in two little boys than in that moment. Immediately, they simultaneously proclaimed they wanted to purchase 8 houses. Needless to say the partnership was a roaring success and they won! Celebrations went on right through the weekend.
In these moments, I love the fact that our little family has these things that make us, us. Things that will become lasting memories, that will tide the boys through many a cloudy day in the future. In this moment, watching this joyful exchange between them, I sat there silenced, soaking in every last bit of it, a smile stretched across my face, Alhumdulillah, for everything.
I hope and long for them to always have these moments as wonderful memories that brings them a sense of nostalgia when they might need it someday….