So a while ago I raved about Parlour Games for Modern Families, which is full of fun games to play that are not attached to the telly or the computer. The kid got a Wii for his birthday, and he really loves it, but it's good to see that he is also enjoying the more drawing room style of entertainment.
This evening we have invented two variations to 'It could be worse'. In 'It could be worse' you have the first person say something bad, like 'the house burned down' and the next person has to say 'it could be worse, the cat could've been killed' and so on until it gets really ramped up to terrible things. I have a hard time stopping the junior from immediately leaping to 'the universe exploded' but we have a lot of fun.
One of our variations is based on a character from Dilbert, the 'Topper' who can always top a story with some self-aggrandising version of his own. Each player has to top the story of the last player. It's very funny. So you can start with 'I went for a really long walk yesterday' and end up with someone on the moon, or you can start with 'My ankle is really sore' and end up with, well, probably with 'the universe exploded', but maybe with shattered legs, body parts scattered over half of Switzerland and an urban myth about ski lifts.
The other variation is 'On the bright side', in which one player starts with a bad thing happening, and the next player has to come up with a bright side. I don't think there is any winning but it is very funny (and potentially good practice for certain kinds of discussions that come up with certain kinds of relatives over Christmas).
The other thing that happened today is that the husband departed for Vietnam and he won't be back for eight weeks. It's quite the thing, I can tell you. If you have a Topper or an 'On the bright side' for me on that topic, I would be happy to have them.