The Games Couples Play


How do you spell T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R-N-E-S-S?

The Dude and I love to play games with one another.

Chess, Scrabble, Backgammon, Spit, Poker, Rummi-Q, DJ Hero, and Guitar Hero….once our little guy is the down for the night, we let the games begin.

Once the Monkey came into our lives, the Dude and I needed to find fun activities that we could do at home that were both fun and stimulating [insert requisite sex jokes here]. Yeah, sure, that can be fun…but I’m talking about something we can do every night [insert more requisite sex jokes here]. No, that just ain’t gonna happen.

On the nights when we need a break from our regular TV viewing, we settle in for an evening of challenge and competition. It’s all in good fun though since we tend to laugh ourselves through most games. Unless it’s Scrabble. Because then things can get ugly. But that’s just what happens when you marry an Ivy-league lawyer who majored in Rhetoric.  He knows more words in other languages than I know in English. Sad, but true.

Before the little guy came into our lives, our definition of fun was going out to dinner multiple times a week, cooking together, spending time with friends, going to shows, and traveling at a moment’s notice. Those are still fun things for us, but we just don’t have the opportunities to do them as much as we have in the past. When the majority of our nights are at home with a two year-old, the definition of fun has to broaden a bit. Spending alone time together was never considered the luxury it has now become since the Monkey was born, but we try and make sure every minute counts.

It wasn’t easy to get to this point.

Like a lot of parents with small children who finally go to sleep, I was one of those mamas who tried to maximize the most of their “free” time by doing the things that had been on my to-do list all day – e-mails, phone-calls, blogging, cleaning, etc… Sure, I was getting stuff done, but I was also neglecting the biggest thing of all: the relationship with my husband. It had become routine for us to do the things we needed to do separately and then head to bed together. Other than dinner conversation, which was spent much more on coaxing the Monkey to eat his greens and stop throwing food, we weren’t making much time to talk or just spend time together. We were simply in the same house, and often in the same room, doing our own thing.  Something had to change and we were both on the same page when we finally acknowledged that, although we were essentially together in the same room every night, we weren’t actually spending any quality time together as a couple.

It has now become our routine to make sure that the time between the Monkey’s bed-time and our own is a time for us to do something enjoyable together. We have found that playing games is one of the best ways to maximize time together because, in between the laughter and fun, it’s also a great time for us to talk and connect.

When I look at my life with the Dude, I tend to always think first of all the fun we have had (and continue to have) together. Whether it’s chasing our boisterous two year-old around the house, cooking together, traveling together, or simply sitting down together for a good game of Scrabble, those are the moments I think about and cherish the most.

Everything else can wait.

It’s time to play.