At her birthday party, my daughter got many toys. Most of them, while nice, are unremarkable. Or at least, unblogable, because I have nothing really to say about them other than they were nice and she likes playing with them.
Unfortunately, the one she likes playing with the most, or, I should say, she likes making me play with the most if this game called Honey Bee Tree.
The game itself is pretty much Kerplunk! but for younger kids. Instead of very swallowable marble, you have ever-so-slightly-less swallowable bees. Instead of sharp little sticks you could poke your eye our with on each end, you have sharp little sticks you can poke your eye out with on one end, with a leaf on the other end.
My daughter doesn’t quite get games yet. She doesn’t really understand competition too much. If we race the cat down the stairs, she’s happily tell me that the cat beat us. If we race, she doesn’t mind losing, or she’ll just say she won anyway. And yes, I do try to let her win. For now.
Apparently, she is still into sharing. I guess I am happy about this, but it makes playing games a little difficult. For example, our friend, The Honey Bee Tree…
Now, the initial problem with this game is not my daughter’s lack of understanding of games. It is the set up. I’m not talking about the taking-it-out-of-the-box-and-putting-it-together-once type of setup. I mean, the before ever freakin’ game set up.
The previously mentioned sticks with leaves – these need to be pushed through holes randomly, creating a layer, if you will, for the bees to rest on. Getting them in the initial hole is easy enough. It is the getting them through the holes on the other side that is difficult. And once you’ve introduced several of these sticks inside, you are attempting to reach the hole in the other side while your stick is redirected this way and that by the previously inserted sticks.
So, after 10 minutes of stick inserting, we are ready to play our 2 minute game.
The first challenge was introducing my daughter to the concept of “turns” (as well as “one stick at a time”). So, I have to say, every time, “okay, my turn!” and, “now it’s your turn!”
Even “my turn” is a challenge. First of all, the real way to play this game is to not get bees. I thought it would be easier for my daughter to understand if we played trying to get bees. This rule change also makes it easier for me to attempt to lose. But I gotta tell you — finding a stick to pull out without releasing any bees is not as easy as it looks.
Anyhow, “my turn” becomes a challenge because, even when I release the bees, my daughter tries to grab the ones I’ve gotten to fall as her own. And then there is the sharing! Sometimes, whether they are “her” bees or “my” bees, she’ll hand me some and say, “here you go!”
So, no one really “wins” when we play, because all the rules are twisted or ignored. Oh, some of you might think, “you both win because you are having daddy-child time!” Feh, hippies.
Actually, despite the setup frustrations, it is a lot of fun to be able to play games with her. It is one of the things I looked forward to when she was just a baby, laying there looking cute, but unamusing. I should enjoy it while I can — before she actually does understand competition.
And cries when I whup her butt in games.
(If you’d like to be frustrated by your own Honey Bee Tree game, you can get it for under $12 at Amazon.com)