Two can play at that game!
After seemingly endless months, Little Man finally started going down to sleep at a reasonable hour each evening, and Charlie and I found ourselves strangely at a loss each evening. Before we had Little Man, we passed most evenings eating out, or going to the cinema, or shopping in town, or going for drinks. But with Little Man at home, none of these activities is really an option anymore, unless we get a babysitter.
We were worried that without something to do together, we’d just end up with each of us browsing the net, or watching tv, and our evenings would pass with no conversation and no real fun. Also, we needed something else to talk about besides Little Man! So we decided to start playing board games together. After all, you can play them at home, they’re not hugely expensive, and best of all they promote a healthy competitiveness between husband and wife! Well, I’m not sure how healthy it is, but I know I like to win!
We had a few board games already – the usual ones, Monopoly, Scrabble, and Risk. We used to play them years ago, when we were in college, and had no money for going out. We wanted something new though, so we went to Gamers World on Jervis Street in Dublin, where they have a great selection of unusual board games. The first game we bought there was a tile-laying game called Carcassonne. Neither of us had ever played it before, but it was really simple to learn. It took about 10-15 minutes to figure out the rules and start playing.
By the time we played it for the second time around, we were hooked. Each game takes just 20-30 minutes, so it’s ideal when you don’t have a lot of free time (which we don’t!). It didn’t take long to figure out that there is great strategy to this deceptively simple tile-laying game. And it took even less time for the competitive side of each of us to come out! Like I said, I like to win!
A few months later, we discovered that Carcassonne has been released for both iPad and iPhone. It’s a great app. It plays really well, and while I prefer the real game, simply because I love the little wooden “meeple” that you play the game with, we regularly play the iPad version too. The great thing about playing the iPad version is that we can play against some of the weird and wonderful in-built AI characters, which adds a different twist to the game.
We originally started playing board games as a way to pass the time in the house in the evenings. But it’s turned out to be much more than just a way to pass the time. The first year or two of life with a new baby is a huge adjustment, and if you’re not careful, it’s easy to forget to make time for each other. Board games are something fun that we do together, a hobby that we share. We set aside one evening a week and it’s time that we both look forward to. And not that I’m keeping score or anything, but just so you know, I’m the reigning Carcassonne champion!