Thursday, November 13, 2014

Zoe vs. Mommy Land
(formerly known as
Candy Land)

Candy Land from Hasbro is the board game most children cut their teeth on. Or maybe it's the first game board children bite? Or maybe it's that they bite you in frustration when they lose.
No matter. The point is someone gave Candy Land to Zoe for her birthday so we started playing it the other day.
This is a good first game for children. It says so right on the box. Candy Land tests a child's aptitude for the three C's: counting, colors, and candy. Zoe rates high on the last two, and if what she's counting is candy, it's a clean sweep.
Our Candy Land has a spinner. When I was a kid I think it was a deck of cards with colors on them, not a spinner, but time marches on. (Note: unless you're playing a board game with a small child.)

A golden era, when I played, unaware of the
suffering of others.

The spinner has two sides: one with colored squares and one with characters and their locales, from Princess Frostine's Ice Palace (shades of Elsa from Frozen) to Lord Licorice's Lagoon (aka, where my game piece was to spend an eternity) to King Kandy's Castle itself. This is the side we used.
Zoe chose her game piece, a red blob with the face of an angry hemorrhoid. (Research revealed this was one Giggly Gumdrop.) Then she chose mine: Mally Mallo, which I tried not to see as slander since I am, after all, white and cushy.
Then Zoe "spun," by which I mean moved the arrow to where she wanted to go. According to Hoyle, be damned.
She "spun" for my game piece too, thus my status as squatter in Lord Licorice's Lagoon.

Candy Land, the movie.
(Go back and read that sentence
until it makes sense. It's ok; I'll wait.)

So Zoe and I played. Over and over. For what seemed like hours. (Interesting fact: the woman who invented the game in 1945 had polio. Hardly surprising since the game is clearly born of suffering.)
And as I sat, a prisoner, on the rug next to Zoe, while Mally Mallo malingered, my mind growing as numb as my butt, I hallucinated a new version of Candy Land, just for tired mommies like me. . . .

Mommy Land (from Hasbroken) 
Choose your game piece: a) an empty coffee mug, b) a jogging stroller, c) a stained shirt in what-was-she-thinking white, or d) a desiccated French fry (may be actual desiccated French fry found under your couch; your child will most likely lose one of the game pieces anyway).
Spin the wheel and commence moving along squares in muted colors more appropriate for your aging palate, or is it palette? Anyway, lots of gray. Because that's soothing. 
First stop: Sleep-Deprived Swamp, the domain of Princess Lollygag. You're so tired you can barely move and yet you're still faster than a four-year-old who stops to look at every rock she passes, interrogate you as to its properties, then disagree.
Grab another cup of tepid coffee and move on to Forgetful Forest, where Baroness Von Talks-Too-Much just won't stop talking until you can barely think. What did you come here looking for? Was it your glasses?
When you finally figure out they're on top of your head, you may stumble on to Kale Canyon, roamed by Lady Licks-Some-Stuff. Gone are the days when you can eat anything, so you best get your daily dose of roughage. Then feel those leafy greens turn as your child eschews her water bottle, preferring to lick the rainwater off a dirty handrail instead.
Queasy, eyes at half-mast, press on to Heartburn Hill, where Countess Kicks-Your-Crotch jumps about, heedless of personal space, kicking and punching until she lands one smack in your baby maker. Ugh, is that your Kale making a return appearance?
On your knees now, you crawl to Mashed-Potato Marsh. Keep serving up them taters mashed with butter and mozzarella cheese. It's all she will eat!
Here, Miss Mayhem greets you with energy to spare. As well as poop, the latter of which arrives with dismaying frequency and equally startling announcements---"Mommy, poop"---belying the amount of starch she's consumed.
Next, ease gingerly around the Bay of Unreasoning Fury, but if you can’t get past unscathed, attempt to mollify Fraulein Frenzy with a tasty treat. (Beware of giving her too much sugar though!)
At the end of the day, try to hang on as you navigate through Lego Archipelago, where the Queen of Complaints whines behind you to let you know you're not done yet. She's not tired! And besides, she can't sleep because her foot hurts. She's making that up! She got the idea seconds ago when you screamed after stepping on that Lego. She is not to be outdone!
Better wrap up that aching foot and slide those orthopedic inserts in your Toms because guess what's ahead? Why, it's Sleep-Deprived Swamp.
Again? Yes, because unlike Candy Land, where the game ends at King Kandy's Castle, Mommy Land's board is a circle. There's no end to the fun! 
Now how's that for a sweet surprise?

Dear Fam: By the time you read this I'll be
"resting" comfortably at St. Barnabus' Sanatorium.
I burned Junior's board game. Cheers!
P.S. You'll need to buy more Scotch.

Zoe: 69; Universe: 0

 For more of Zoe's hijinks, follow me on Facebook and on Twitter at @zoevsuniverse
I need a win here, people. 


  1. Wait a minute - where did the cards go? My youngest is 13, and when he was little there were still cards instead of a spinner. Messing with Candyland is sacrilegious. Unless you turn it into a brilliant and hilarious game of Mommyland. Well done!

  2. Right, Dana? I don't know. At first I wondered if I got the travel one because it's also small, but I went on the site to check and it looks like the same one. I may have to hie myself to eBay to get the proper one. Wait. Why would I do that? I must have Stockholm Syndrome!

  3. Oh my God, this is hilariously brilliant!! You are a genius. And yeah, those cards are a huge pain in the ass. They are AWFUL. A spinner is an improvement. But your Mommyland game is absolutely comedic gold. And Hasbroken? Ha! Love this.

  4. Thanks, Stephanie! Guess I'm glad I couldn't find the cards one. My mom did but it's a princess version. Exchanging one blasphemy for another!

  5. No! Stop! You're giving me flashbacks! Your game is MUCH better than the original. I think that there is a circle of hell where they make you play Candyland with a cranky four year old all day. I'll probably end up there.

  6. I would totally buy your game! Honestly, your description of playing this game is spot on. It is mind-numblingly boring!!-Ashley

  7. My daughter loved this game. We had the Mo-Mo (Elmo) version. It was even worse. Can you incorporate some sort of drinking game into Candy Land, The Parent's addition? I would buy that one for sure.

  8. I loved Candy Land as a kid and have not yet suffered playing it with my kids. Looks like I have A LOT to look forward to :)

  9. I'm hoping my kid is like me - a true grit quitter - and any game fun will be had in about 3 minutes.

  10. Great! I'll look forward to your company!

  11. Thanks! I have to get Etsying.

  12. Ooh, another money-making opportunity. I like it.

  13. I'd glad I could serve as warning. ;)

  14. Haha. If only. We're in the "again" stage right now.

  15. I want to be the shot glass! Can I please be the shot glass? It'll reduce the amount of time it takes me to numb the pain of this game. Also horrible: Chutes & Ladders and Hi Ho Cherry-O! (Because giving a bunch of four year olds 700 tiny plastic cherries the size of a Nestle Toll House Morsel is a FANTASTIC idea; maybe give them some explosives and a match too!)

  16. Oh, I love the idea of Mommyland. I'd even play and I hate board (bored) games. BTW, if you want to teach your children how to lie, try Battleship. Life lessons in that one. A little bit later, you can play Risk, and encourage fisticuffs. Good times.

  17. Absolutely, a shot glass is the perfect addition. I remember Hi Ho Cherry-O! What I remember most is sweeping the board of my sister's cherries in anger when I lost. And that was just a couple of years ago. Ugh, better avoid this one.

  18. Haha, stuff to look forward to! Thanks for visiting.

  19. From your daughter's version of strategic "spinning" to bemoaning the changes of the Candyland board & pieces, your description is spot on! I just so happen to have the antidote in this blog post:
    Seeing all the comments below, it appears like there are many of us suffering souls out there...S.O.S.! Send our scotch!! :)

  20. Haha, funny. I just checked it out. The Footloose comment was my favorite. I'd be afraid to incorporate dance breaks because she doesn't actually stop until something breaks.

  21. Linda_Roy_elleroy_was_hereNovember 19, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    I'm up for booking a short stay at Mash Potato marsh. Everything else would be gravy.

  22. Ba-dum-dum!