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Candy Land Makes Me Want to Get a Lobotomy

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Should "monotonous," "relentless" and "excruciating" be words to describe a game?

Candy Land

momlogic's Momstrosity: One thing you must know about me: I enjoy hanging out with my just-turned-4-year-old daughter, Lily. In the last year, I've played innumerable rounds of "restaurant" and "princess" and initiated impromptu dance parties. I've also participated in a good deal of hide-and-go-seek -- even if I do tend to use my "seeking" time to put away clutter. However, there's one game that gives me a huge freakin' headache: Candy Land. If you've never played it, consider yourself lucky. 

The game can literally take hours as you pick cards and move your pieces on the way to ... you guessed it: Candy Land -- a sticky environment that looks like a sugary oil slick. Sure, you might get to meet Gramma Nutt or King Kandy along the way, but after that there's nothing to look forward to ... except for it to end. My daughter is literally addicted to the game. Hopefully, Candy Land isn't a gateway game that leads to harder stuff (like Keno).

Amazingly, the game has literally NO strategy, yet Lily has honed her Candy Land skills and has become something of a shark. It's scary. And oh, yeah: It's tedious as hell. 

Candy Land

Lily's Top Five Candy Land Strategies:

1) Use the WHOLE board.
She is a Candy Land genius, so you never know how she might approach the game. Sometimes she moves her pieces backward instead of forward, and she often hops over from one path to another. Or -- suddenly and without warning -- she starts pretending that the board is bed and her playing piece is a baby and then proceeds to give it a bottle. 

2) Have a "Candy Land face."
When she selects a card, she's just like Lady Gaga maintaining a poker face -- only Lily's expression is always one of utter and total elation. Every time she picks a card, she flips out.  ("Purple. I GOT TWO PURPLES!!") Still, that's nothing like what happens when she picks a card with a piece of candy on it. She's sooo excited she must run in to show Daddy. (I use this time to surreptitiously move our pieces closer to the finish line.) 

3) Wear down your opponent.
With every move, Lily has to touch each space. EACH. SPACE. It takes forever. I know it's all part of her scheme to tire me out. The thing she doesn't realize is, I'm already exhausted because she gets up every morning at the crack of dawn.

4) Bluff.
The worst part of the game -- for her AND me -- are the Lose Your Turn squares (the ones with the piece of licorice). When she does end up on the offending square, she does what any high-stakes game player would do: She cries. She's bluffing, of course, but it works every time. The second I let my guard down, she's rifling though the cards looking for one with a picture of a candy on it. 

5) You MUST play with your lucky playing piece.
Pretty much no matter what color piece her opponent picks, she's gonna want that color. During the game, she'll randomly insist on switching out her original selection. If you disagree, she'll just start using your piece instead of hers ... or use more than one, so her piece will have a "friend."

6) Cheat.
Even Candy Land sharks have their limits. After about what seems like hours, Lily starts to get bored. She'll then tell me (no matter where her piece is on the board) that she won. Believe me, I don't argue.




next: 'Toddlers and Tiaras' Star Suffers Stroke
57 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jeannette March 23, 2010, 3:54 AM

Yes, oh yes, I HATE Candyland. It is, I think, every parents’ nightmare. I have a 5 yr old who still LOVES Candyland. I so can’t wait for her to outgrow her obsession. This was such a funny post!

Dawn March 23, 2010, 5:41 AM

This is stupid! Any other games you wanna complain about? How about not putting the girl to bed at 7 pm then she wouldn’t wake up so early and you wouldn’t be so cranky about playing a game with your daughter.

Leann  March 23, 2010, 6:53 AM

Candyland and Chutes N Ladders are torture devices designed to drive parents crazy. I think I actually cried once when my daughter was almost to the candy castle and got a card that sent her back near the start of the game.
I understand what the author was saying, but I also wasn’t afraid to say, “Mommy, doesn’t like to play candyland. Come back when you’ve got the basics of bridge mastered.”

Jan March 23, 2010, 6:56 AM

I have always LOVED Candyland. I remember seeing my mom buying it and being so excited. Anything involving sugar, whether a doughnut or a game theme, has my vote! Enjoy the time with her, it won’t last forever.

aignerclark March 23, 2010, 8:28 AM

hmmm…it’s a toss up between which is worse. Candy Land or Hi Ho Cherry O? Though both are better than Hungry Hungry Hippos, which makes a nerve-grating din unlike any other…

Courtney March 23, 2010, 5:33 PM

I agree with Erin & Stephanie…people really need to get a life & find a sense of humor. She clearly wrote the article out of humor…it’s not that serious!

Larry @ Cakeblast March 24, 2010, 8:13 PM

We have Dora Candyland for our PC, and let our 4yo play. We play with him sometimes, but he is also able to play against the computer. It isn’t as boring as the board game because their are educational mini games that pop-up at certain points in the game. Consider getting her the computer version and maybe she’ll get Candyland out of her system.

Shep March 25, 2010, 6:49 PM

Your daughter will grow up to be a terrible person

glynes March 25, 2010, 6:51 PM

I am so sorry. That’s what I’d tell my mom if I could. When I was little, I absolutely loved CandyLand, and had weekly games with her. I had no idea how terrible that must’ve been for them. I wonder if daddy felt the same about Chinese Checkers? It’s amazing that we went on, when I was an adult, to play Yahtzee, Uno, and Cribbage, and seemingly have a good time.

Christine  March 29, 2010, 9:57 PM

you know, they made a computer game of it in the 90’s….

Alex March 30, 2010, 2:21 AM

I had to play it with my little cousin quite a lot and i agree its the most boring, pointless game ive ever played, plus he would cheat all the time and start crying when i would get mad.

Mr T March 30, 2010, 3:29 AM

Your kid obviously digs it! Be nice and play it with her.

Marianne March 30, 2010, 3:35 AM

Wow, when did it become something bad to spend time with your child? I’m pretty sure this mother does not play Candy Land with her daughter all the time, but I completely understand that it’s boring when she has to. But all people do things they don’t necessarily enjoy to please others, so those of you who fear that the daughter will be completely destroyed by this, maybe this is the lesson she learns. Sometimes you put your own needs aside for others… That’s also a good lesson.
Btw, it sound like she has her own Calvinball version of the game. I thought it was funny ;-)

David March 30, 2010, 6:31 AM

Consider yourself lucky. My daughter insisted we play with all four pieces. So, even when it was just us two, we would each have to play a second character. Makes the game take that much longer.

Thank God she has moved on to chess.

TheBadMan March 30, 2010, 1:08 PM

you’re a horrible mother.

D.J. March 30, 2010, 1:21 PM

I have a 3 year old, who loves this game and Dora… Both drive me nuts! Some of the comments you got from this post are pretty outrageous. I agree with Erin - they’re games; supposed to be fun. People should relax.

Something that helps us is http://www.nickjr.com/games/dora-candy-land.jhtml

This has actually *ahem* helped her from skipping blocks and going backwards.

Anonymous March 30, 2010, 1:26 PM

ok, but not funny

Anonymous March 30, 2010, 1:38 PM

Wow… looks like a few trolls mixed in with the uptight people who have no sense of humor. Sounds to me like the mother is both intelligent and a good parent. If people like Ben are really serious, I feel sorry for their children. My own take is that even something as tedious as candyland can be enriching to a child of 4, and the time spent with her mother certainly is. Further, I found this post witty and enjoyable. I am not a parent, but I found myself nodding my head at the antics of her daughter.

hella April 9, 2010, 10:55 PM

ur kid sounds insane not inventive

Kenny April 12, 2010, 9:26 AM

you shouldn’t have had kids.


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