My husband’s side loves it. Out of my three children, the youngest got the charades gene. Recently we had the whole family over for dinner and, as usual, the kids inhaled their meals so they could do what they do best: try to ruin our dinner by running around the dinner table, crawling underneath it, climbing on laps, screaming and (naturally) fighting. As this unfolded, I noticed the youngest sitting quietly (on her grandmother’s lap) writing on small pieces of paper and folding them up. I asked what she was doing and she answered with the dreaded response, “I’m making a charades game for us to play.”

The Ripley side was all in; the Valletta side fell silent. I mean, how do you tell your cute little munchkin that you would rather endure bamboo torture than play her game? So we just sat there and finished our dinner. Luckily, I had made dessert that night, so the meal went on, and on, and on, and everyone forgot about playing the game.

The next morning, I found a red binder on the dining room table with a title page, “Sherads,” followed by little scraps of paper with words like: napkin, horse or chicken, “capps – the kind of hat,” gramma and “techer.” My heart sank, thinking of her sitting over there, quietly creating a game for the family while we just chatted it up with each other and lollygagged over our lemon pound cake.

I approached my child about the red binder, apologized for not playing and complimented her on all of her hard work. We flipped through all of the clues she had created and talked about how we would have acted them out. After a long hug, I told her we would play on Thanksgiving when the whole family would be here again. She smiled and said, “Well then I’ll have to make all new clues because you know these already and if you have time to practice, then you won’t look silly and embarrassed.” Ah ha!

And the truth comes out: Maybe she really does love the game, but it appears that her real objective is to get all the adults to look like idiots. Well, due to my poor judgment in parenting at that recent family dinner (and overwhelming mommy guilt) it looks like I’m going for the silly and embarrassed look on Thanksgiving. And you know what, I may just love it, because she loves it – and I love her.

Post script... Thanksgiving “sherads” happened the Saturday before we went to print with this issue. I played. I got “Eating pop rocks.” I looked like an idiot and I loved it. At least I didn’t pull “donkey”. 

More from Montana Parent

Thank You to Our Sponsors