Micah doesn’t like to play Scrabble with me. I don’t know why. He actually beat me the first time we played with our Super Scrabble set (see picture below), and I still talk to him, make his dinners, and bear his children. And it’s not like I’m as competitive as my brother, who has memorized all the two- and three- letter words (and most of the rest of the Scrabble dictionary) and will helpfully tell you if the word you are hoping to triple-word-score on is recognized as legit. (And actually, it’s usually not as helpful as it sounds.)
Micah might be off the hook as a Scrabble “buddy” (perhaps “frienemy” is the more appropriate term?) pretty soon. Manchild has gladly, blissfully, ignorantly, stepped into that role and it’s been working out fine. I’m trying to nurture him as best I can. I give him some space to be creative with his “spellings.” I don’t complain when he insists we fill our trays to bulging. And it’s not a big deal to me if he doesn’t always put a word in a legit place. I just want someone to play with.
Today our game went like this:
I pick 10 tiles randomly from the bag and put them in my tray.
Manchild starts picking tiles and putting them in his tray. Oh, wait. What’s this? They have different numbers? Hmmm . . . he needs a 1, a 2, a 3, a 4, a 5 . . . is there a 6? Better dump them all out and sort through them to find out. There’s a 10. And an 8. But no 6. No 7. No 9. What to do? X is 8. Z is 10. He sticks a Y in between, for the sake of alphabetical order and fills in the gaps. We’re ready to begin.
Manchild goes first, and has no trouble placing his word on the star. YEXOK. I’m sure it would be something really cool if it existed.
I play my word (LOONEY) and refill my tray. Manchild has not refilled his tray yet. He refills it and gets three Ts. Three Ts! Imagine! He wants to use them all at once. All in a row. I draw a line. The “word” has to be pronounceable. I have to be able to read it. It needs vowels. We shuffle tiles, I peek at his tray. We work it out. KATETT. Who knows what it means? Who cares? It sounds like something to do with Kate Austin of LOST fame. I’m satisfied, so is he.
I take a moment to place my word (FOMENT) before reminding him to fill his tray. It goes on like this for another turn or two. He wants to get a word on a double, a triple, and a quadruple (Super Scrabble is super like that). And then he says, “One more turn for you and one more turn for me and then we can put it away.”
I’m kind of bummed. We’ve never managed more than 10 words in a game. But someday we will. And they’ll all be real words. And he’ll probably call me out when I play a word that isn’t in the official Scrabble dictionary, or remind me to refill my tray, or get after me for taking too long.
And then maybe I’ll start pestering Squish to come play with me.