I recently played Monopoly with my niece, S.

The game started badly. S laid the board out while I did some housework, then she chose the ship for herself.

The problem was (as Honey Bunny will attest), I’m ALWAYS the ship. Being a good aunt, after a LOT of complaining about not getting to be the ship, I chose the racing car. I just don’t see myself as the thimble or the horse. I don’t want to be the iron or the cannon either. And what does it say about people when they choose to be the little dog?

So, we started and I bought the Electric Company. S is learning her times tables, so every time she landed on the Electric Company, she had to pay me four times her dice roll. We practiced the four times table a lot during our game, and she didn’t even realise.

It was a game which was never going to end, as S and I had both ruthlessly bought one of every group of properties on the board. I know some people trade properties, or buy properties from each other, but I don’t. If the property I want from another player will win me the game then I don’t want to rip the other person off, but if the property the other player wants from me will win them the game, then obviously I’m not going to trade. I like to win.

So, due to my principles (or will to win) S and I were unable to put houses or hotels on our properties and wipe the other one out.

I texted Honey Bunny for advice. The favourite son in law answered. “Cheat.”

Honey Bunny advised, “Call it bedtime.”

Everything important in life can be learned playing Monopoly.

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