Guess Who!

Here’s a tip for all you would-be parents out there. Bribery. It is the answer to all that parentally ails you.

We were about to encounter one of those off-kilter days that does not follow the general routine. Instead of Dad doing the preschool drop-off, it was all Mom. Well, you remember how that went a la trail of tears and handwashing.

I told the girls I would take them to a restaurant if they were nice all day.

And they were. Because bribery works.

I took them to a restaurant or the closest thing to a restaurant in which hysterical crying does not detract too much from the ambiance. Or, in other words, Burger King.

Everything went fine (read: me on the floor mopping up a murder of ketchup) and we brought home a kids’ meal toy consisting of:

Guess Who!

The board game. Only in a tiny box.

Erma was super duper trooper excited. She held onto the game the entire way home. She studied the box. She talked to the box. She showed her sister the box from afar. She petted the box and cooed at it.

The contents of Burger King kids' meal Guess Who! game.

At home, the inevitable happened and she wanted to open the box.

We took out the pieces. Plastic boards, cardboard people, and the tiniest deck of cards you’ve ever seen. They are like bite-sized candy cards (says Sigourney, and so yummy!).

Erma and I played Guess Who!, in the way that a three-year-old plays a board game. It was thankfully a much shorter game than the treacherous Chutes and Ladders.

“Do you want to play one more time?” I asked, in a giving spirit.

“Where’s the people?” she asked, her bottom lip just at the beginning of a pout.

“They’re right here.” These types of questions confuse my feeble mind. Had we not just played the game with all the little people? You asked if my person had a happy face and orange hair. Remember the little bite-sized people?

“No. Not those people.” Behind the pout was just the edges of anger. I could feel it brimming.

“What people?”

“The people who jump out at you.”

I looked at her for a minute, because surely if I questioned this, the frustration was going to boil right over. I could see it in her eyes. But finally I said, “There are no people who jump out.”

“No! I want the people who jump out!”

“Where are people jumping out?”

She said, “On the box. It says the people jump out.”

Ah. I explained to her that it was just a picture, and that the people don’t really jump out. Then I made a parental error. I told her that in the REAL game (not the fake Burger King bite-sized game), the people do kind of pop out. WHY did I say this? I don’t know. The mother side of my head was on the verge of exploding in trying to divert the frustration of my preschooler, and I took a misstep.

“I want the REAL game,” she said, “where the people jump out. Can I have the real game? Pleaaase? PLEAAAASE? PLEASE, Mommy?”

For the next 48 hours, all we have heard about is how much she wants the game with the real people popping out.

I’m tempted to hide in a box and jump out at her. Then I will tell her that this is the REAL game, and I have just made the people jump out. Then I could give her the box. Problem solved, right?


10 responses to “Guess Who!

  1. You did take a misstep. When the murder of ketchup occurred (3 points for the collective noun, btw) rather than cleaning it up, the correct play is to quickly move to a table on the other side of the dining room.

    • You are wise beyond your years, Rich. (Whatever those years are.) The place was virtually empty. We could have spilled ketchup at every table in the establishment!

  2. Not only would you end up giving your daughter a heart attack, but if she’s anything like my kids, she wont accept your solution, or your particular brand of humor. I wish it was that simple. I also wish my kids had more developed senses of humor.

    I used to play Guess Who for hours with a friend of mine when we were young. Terrific game. Even back then there was nobody jumping out at us.

    • I am 200% sure that you are correct and that she would find no humor in my Guess Who! game.

      I should have framed the Guess Who! REAL game as a horrifying experience in which people jump out at you and yell at you and tell you that you can’t watch Scooby Doo tonight.

  3. I think this would be a perfect time to explain deceptive marketing!

    Also, good luck with that one.

  4. I think you should write BK and complain of the false advertising on their game. 🙂

    • The game came with a $3 coupon for the REAL game. It was all a marketing ploy! They KNEW little kids would want the game where the people jump out. They KNEW it.

  5. I had the “real” Guess Who when I was younger. I’m not sure what happened to it. Veronica received Guess Who as a birthday present this year. It is MUCH different than before.

    The old version had individual pictures of people that you had to insert into the plastic boards. If you were super sneaky (me) you could set up both your and your opponents boards to where the people were in the same order. Then, when your opponent flipped over her (have 2 sisters) person, you’d immediately know who she had and could quickly win the match.

    The new version has one large rectangle with the pictures on it that you slide into your board. Each player’s board is in a different order. It ruins the fun by making the setup shorter and lessening the ability to cheat. Also, the plastic boards on the new one snap together like an easle

    A major plus, the boards are double sided. On one side are humans (now a bit more ethnically diverse than before) and the other side is animals. Two different games for the price of one.

  6. Pingback: You Put a Pineapple Where? |

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