My son’s favorite restaurant is Applebee’s. Why? Because they have games on their table tablets. I’m also guilty for participating in its fun as it has friend trivia, and helps us learn things about each other. You get to learn what food you’re friend can’t live without, favorite action movie actor and etc. on the trivia. It helps me understand my son and him understand me a little bit better. Now, it is starting to get old on us as it is always the same questions. I like Applebee’s, but I don’t like that my choices in restaurants are limited, because he chooses electronics over food.

This past Mother’s day, we took a trip to Patapsco Valley State Park. So, for dinner we had to choose an alternative to our traditional restaurant choices. We found a quaint local restaurant that mostly sold bar food. When, we ran out of things to talk about my son said, “I have a good idea”. He pulled the sugar packet compartment toward the middle of the table. There were 4 different color packets in it. He said, “We have to guess what color we have. So, grab one, but don’t look!”, so we did. We both reached for a sugar packet as we looked the other way. Once, we grabbed one, we quickly pulled it back to us and covered it up with our other hand. I took a peak to see what my color was – it was pink. He smiled, “Okay..I think you have…white!”. I said, “nope!…I think you have yellow”. Then, we both showed each other our packets. He had blue. This game continued until our food arrived.

As we tried different restaurants, we also tried different games. We went to this one BBQ joint that didn’t have the sugar packet game available, so we used what was there. I grabbed a napkin. I covered it up with my other hand. I would fold one corner of the napkin, and he had to guess whether it was my left or my right. He joined in on this silly game.

Then, most recently, we went to our favorite local pizza restaurant and decided to play soccer with the straw paper. It was fun, but often became messy and competitive, which at times became loud. Whoops!

I think trivia is the best. However, I think creating your own trivia for your child is the best idea of all. You truly learn what’s in their minds. You might find things out that you didn’t know about your child. You maybe surprised by their reactions, answers and jokes.

Some of this sounds ridiculous, because its still playing games and some may think that we might as well just play electronics then. I can understand why some may think that. I hate when my son brings his Nintendo DS (portable game), because only he can play and he gets so engaged that it’s like nothing or nobody else exists around him. I feel like some electronics are okay. Using face changing apps such as snap chat is fun and the trivia on the tablet, because you are still engaging with the other person. Those specific electronic games and the silly games we play with objects all have something in common – it’s brings us together. That physical comfortability trying to cram in for a face swap on Snapchat, observing facial expressions while playing sugar packet guessing games, or learning what makes each other tick and the sportsmanship of a good ole straw paper soccer. Either way, it’s two people playing together and bonding in the mix of things. We just take commonly wasted time and turn it into a great opportunity, instead. We are simply learning more and more about each other in an entertaining fashion.

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Written by J. Marie

Founder/Owner, Perfectly Imperfect Parents - Single Mom . Blogger . Photographer . Bar Marketing Manager and Bartender . Artist of Frame Design . Part-Time Student to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

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