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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
Me April 24, 2010, 8:55 AM

It’s not the game. Your kid needs ritain

Scott April 24, 2010, 10:03 AM

At the beginning of the article the author tells us that she loves spending time with her daughter doing other things. Comments like Marianne’s asking why it’s so bad to spend time with your child are obnoxious and pointless, as she must have either skipped over that to find something to complain about, or “forgot” that fact by the time she got through the rest of the story. It’s a charming story that any reasonable parent can probably relate to, I know I can.

Anonymous April 24, 2010, 10:57 AM

My mom admitted to me that when we played candy land together she would cheat. She put the cards in an order that she knew would make me happy (landing on the squares I liked) and make me win the game.

Ghadir April 24, 2010, 12:41 PM

wow im not a parent, but i really enjoyed this article haha..and to the ppl who are calling her a bad mother who doesn’t care about her children can shut up..OBVIOUSLY she’s putting up with her child, which basically means she cares for her and wants to make her happy. SHEESH. good article :) :) :)

p.s. i stumbled from michigan :)

Obak April 25, 2010, 3:01 AM

I also love to play games when I am garanteed to win.
Acording to me, its never to early to stop shielding your kid from dissapointment and the general cruelty of the world, so just play to win and be adamant despite crying, screaming, kicking and verbal abuse.
Or simply tell her to play another game..

Anonymous April 25, 2010, 9:00 AM

This is why most moms shouldn’t be parents.

Andy April 25, 2010, 12:24 PM

This is too true. But the trick is to distract your child and when they’re not looking, move them to within a few squares of the winning square. Then, a few miscounted hops and you’re home free!

Mike Lewis April 26, 2010, 8:25 AM

Haha. My son used to cheat at this game when he was 4. He’d find and sit on the Ice Cream Cone card - that’s the one closest to the end isn’t it? - and play it when no one was looking.


Anonymous May 19, 2010, 5:11 PM

You should not have had children. Honestly, you sound like a horrible mother. I feel so sorry for Lily.

Marc Malone August 14, 2010, 12:25 PM

Do you think that is going to work?

frat music December 29, 2010, 10:33 PM

It is just candy land! It is better than when they are older and listening to frat music

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