Playing games with grandchildren... who sanitised Cluedo?
- Credit: Archant
Do not play Junior Cluedo with my grandson.
It is for those aged five and over and we gave him the game for his birthday. Rather than set out to discover the identity of the murderer, the weapon of choice and the scene of the crime, in this version you have to find out who ate the cake, which soft drink they imbibed and what time it was when the cake was consumed. I'm not sure Hercule Poirot would be interested in setting his little grey cells to solving the mystery, what with its lack of violence, upper middle class setting and array of weaponry. But you can't fault its political correctness.
This was to be the first time we had met George from school.
'I want to stay there until I'm 100,' he has declared.
I am looking forward to revisiting that statement when he's a grumpy, hormonal teenager.
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In any event, I'm not sure his village school is primed to cope with centenarian scholars. Currently, the oldest is 11. At about ten past three, George tumbled out of hedgehog class in the jumbled midst of his classmates. He spotted his grandpa and his face was immediately wreathed in smiles.
'Grandpa! It's my grandpa!' he told his schoolfriends and flung himself at my husband.
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'Hello, grandma,' George added.
He said goodbye to a little girl in his class (he likes her) and we crossed the road behind the mobile library and headed for our car, a Ford among 4x4s.
'What did you have for lunch, George?'
'Omelette and jacket potato.'
'Was that good?'
'Yes. Can we play Cluedo?'
'Are you growing a beard, grandpa?'
'Never mind. I still love you.'
At home, where two-year-old Wil was asleep and unwake-uppable on the sofa, George arranged the Cluedo board and chose his character (Colonel Mustard) and we began the game.
Daddy was more interested in George's lunchtime omelette because the five-year-old had previously been unwilling to eat eggs. 'Did you have an omelette?'
'Did you eat it?'
After about 20 minutes grandpa declared he knew whodunnit, where and when. He was about to reveal all when: 'NO!' exclaimed George. 'You mustn't say anything, grandpa.'
It turned out this was because we had to wait until George had the answers and could therefore win the game. George, it seems, takes after his auntie Ruth, who has been known to upturn a Monopoly board in frustration when forced to pay out on a hotel in Mayfair and storm off a tennis court when she has failed to nail her serve.
Eventually, George 'won' the game, grandpa was runner-up and grandma failed to score. It was time to wake up Wil. Grandma and grandpa had exhausted him with a session at the soft play area and a shopping trip to Sainsbury's. To be honest, it was grandpa who had earned the right to an afternoon nap after accompanying Wil up the ramps, across the walkways, through the swinging obstacles and down the slide (at the play area, not Sainsbury's). I watched them and, unprompted, the theme music to Raiders of the Lost Ark popped into my head as my very own, slightly bearded Indiana Jones swung his way nimbly along the play equipment.
Well, when I say 'nimbly', I suppose I mean 'eventually'.
n A press release publicising The Baby Show at Olympia included treasured memories of young children shared by their parents. Here are a couple:
'My youngest smeared Dairylea all over himself, thinking it was suncream.'
'I shampooed my baby's head and his hair fell out.'