Elf on the Shelf 2015 – Day 6

Just recently (within the last year or so) Cadence has gotten interested in board games. She’s been really into cards for awhile now. We’ve been playing Uno with her since she was 3, and this year she has gotten really good at War, Old Maid, and Crazy 8’s. And she’s freakishly good at Go Fish. Sometimes we wonder if she’s figured out a way to cheat.

But as far as board games, she hasn’t really been all that interested until more recently. Maybe it’s finally that she’s old enough to really understand all the rules and formulate a strategy to emerge the victor. See, here in the Romano house, we don’t believe in letting our kids win. My friend Kara wrote a great article for Good Housekeeping recently that pretty much sums up our views the that subject, and you can read it HERE. Sure, there are times when we will pause a game to explain a strategy to Cadence or to advise her to look closely before she makes a move, but mostly, we believe in letting her figure it out for herself. After all, these games we’re playing and the decisions she is making today are laying the foundation for the way she is going to tackle much bigger problems later on, and we would be failing her if we weren’t teaching her that failure is a part of life.

It has been awesome seeing Cadence grow through the process. Instead of crying or quitting when she loses, she takes time to think about why she didn’t win and immediately asks to play again. She’s incredibly resilient, and these days, she’s even winning more often than she loses. Her current favorites are the aforementioned card games (hell, maybe we should start teaching her a little Poker and Blackjack now), Connect 4, Zynga (which is sort of like a cutthroat Bingo), and a game called Bugs in the Kitchen where you have to strategically lead a skittering little Hexbug through a maze and into your trap to win the game.

We bought her the Minion Operation game last Christmas, thinking she might get a kick out of it, but the first loud buzz freaked her out and it has been collecting dust ever since. Cosette and Leo noticed it sitting on the shelf and figured they might put it to good use. And wouldn’t you know it, Cadence suddenly seems very interested in learning to play.

Game on!










365 Project – Day 285 – Morning People and Everyone Else

I am not a morning person, well at least, I’m not a person who can jump right out of bed and expected to be completely coherent or conscious of her surroundings until I’ve spent at least 15 minutes in the upright position, and had a couple sips of coffee. Really, what can people expect from a girl who got nailed with a double dose of anti-morning genes?

My birthfather Shawn is the most agreeable zombie you’ll ever want to meet in the mornings. For a good half-hour or more after he wakes, he sees the world through a thick fog and half-open eyes, moving slowly and with unsteady gait of one of The Walking Dead. If you try to have a conversation with him before he is fully-caffeinated, you can get him to agree to pretty much anything you ask.

Chocolate pie a la mode with rainbow sprinkles and a cherry on top for breakfast?


Can we flood the backyard and have a two-on-two mud volleyball tournament just for fun?

Why not?

And how about dying our hair black and purple and head to a Rockies game?

Great idea! Let’s go buy some hair dye!

Once he finishes that coffee though, all bets are off, so it’s best to try and get as much in as you can before he’s fully-conscious.

An early morning with my birthmom, on the other hand, is like playing that old Operation game by Hasbro. Move slowly, precisely, quietly, and with great care and everything will be all right.

But, just one false move and…

Sorry. Game over. Better luck next time.

Momma Dawn is just one of those people that needs a little space in the morning. Set up a decent perimeter, give her a half hour and a nice tall Monster drink and all is right with the world. But come at her first thing with a barrage of questions or demands without giving her time to shake the sleep off and you better know at least some basic Karate moves or be wearing a bulletproof vest to defend yourself from a retaliatory attack.

I like to think that I fall somewhere in between my parents’ two extremes.

While I definitely move a bit slower and more clumsily in the mornings, I certainly do not automatically agree with any suggestion thrown my way. In fact, I tend to just ignore anyone who starts asking me to make decisions before I’ve had at least a half cup of coffee. And while I might throw the occasional glassy-eyed glare at anyone in the room who is bouncing around like Tigger on a sugar high, I usually don’t lash out unless the people around me are going out of their way to provoke a reaction, and well, at that point, they deserve it.

So obviously, my daughter did not inherit her up-in-and-instant-and-ready-to-go-go-go attitude from me. This one, my friends, is aaaaaaaallllll from Daddy, and I’m sure that any of you who know Steven will agree…

Did you notice the overly dramatic fake wailing toward the end, when Cadence was trying to convince me that she’d hurt her foot…no her head? Yeah, there are days when I’m pretty sure we have a soap opera star in the making around here, but hey, at least she’s entertaining.

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to all the Not-So Morning People, like me. God grant us the serenity.

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