Sunday, January 21, 2007

Deal Me In

When does it all get easier with these kids? When I ask this rhetorical question, I’m not talking about the basics of raising them, educating them, feeding and bathing them, and the like. I’m talking about poker. I found myself at Stacey’s Friday night with Warren and Andria, their kids, and JP and S in tow. After a lovely spaghetti dinner whipped up by Warren, an impromptu poker game broke out. None of the other adults had cash, which was one problem, so we were playing for “fun,” but there was still the whole problem of the kids wanting, or demanding, our attention, which is distracting enough in its own right, but much more so when you’re working on a full house (I don’t think I worked on a full house the entire evening, but you get the idea).

So last night we were invited to Andria’s for chili and we actually planned on playing poker. Everyone even brought cash, which was a good start, but we also brought our kids and that's where the problem lies, because the children were unruly, all seven of them. They ran around, spilled water and popcorn, demanded apples and more popcorn, hit each other, threw things, and all the other activities that we really should expect by now. But there was poker going on, or trying to go on. Some things should be sacred. I recall all of my aunts and uncles, parents, grandparents and great-grandparents playing poker into the wee hours of the night when we were children. Were my cousins and I better behaved? More easily distracted by the three television channels we had in 1979? Or were our parents just better at ignoring us?

My dream, of course, is to teach The Quartet to play so they can take their friends' money and then I, in turn, can win it from them. To do this, though, they’re all going to have to calm down and watch and learn. Either that or the adults all need to work on their poker faces, which includes ignoring whatever mayhem is going on in the other room.