“Want to play a game this evening?” I asked the young miss.
“How about Scrabble?”
Scrabble, I thought. Not Uno? Where did she get Scrabble?
Brit has an impressive vocabulary and she knows how to use it. And spell. She also has really good anagram ability. When she was younger, she would ask me to give her scrambled four and five-letter words in the car, and she would figure them out in her head. (These days, she listens to cd’s with headphones–no more car games, alas.)
The first game wasn’t pretty. But she hung close in game two. She found HERE in the lower right corner for a triple word score, stringing the e’s at the end of other words for a total of 49 points. Losing 275-259 was more than honorable for her.
Then after I opened with WIMP in game three, she bingoed. Her first ever:
And the little turkey was ahead 60-22. What the heck was going on here? It wasn’t until she gave me an opening with PROBE that I avenged that opening play of hers. Boom! 76 points:
I think the fatigue was setting in. Later on, she opened up a triple word square for me and another 7-letter play, INDUCTED. 89 points just about ended the game, but she finished with her second straight personal best–262.
It was only two years ago she insisted on playing Scrabble when her grandma came to visit us in Kansas City. I don’t think my ultra-competitive mother appreciated playing with a young child in a three-way game. Both my parents liked card and board games of all sorts and I loved the competition myself when they would play with us kids. It wasn’t until college that I started beating my mother consistently at this game. Even though I became a chess expert, I could never beat my father consistently at checkers.
There’s no real treat in out-scrabbling one’s offspring in games like this. Unless she starts memorizing words and competing in tournaments, I’m going to win every game until I start losing my mental faculties. That’s why I like Uno or Monopoly–enough of a luck factor for the young miss to compete nicely. But I confess being pleasantly surprised with some of her play tonight. Three games was a bit much for her mental stamina, but I don’t think I was putting a pair of 260’s on my mother twice in a night when I was her age.