Here's how my Monday night ended:
After dinner, Zoe hauled out Winnie The Pooh Candyland. When it was finally bedtime, and after I had played approximately 82 rounds with her, she made me promise that I would leave it on the table so that we can continue the marathon after breakfast. I agreed to leave the game out, but will consider this as pre-payment for any naughtiness I may commit in 2010, because: 1. I hate board games, especially licensed character mind-numbing, boring-ass board games, and 2. Leaving toys out-of-place overnight means I'll have a hard time going to sleep.
So anyway, after Zach and Charlie had played a couple hours of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" and managed to level up and acquire a throwing knife, they came upstairs around 10:00 and discovered Candyland sitting on the table. They proceeded to make up their own rules and became so captivated by the game that they failed to hear the "click click click" of the dog's toenails as he ran back and forth in front of the deck door. I knew what was about to happen, but waited to see if they would snap out of their moment of regression to notice. Sure enough, after a minute or so, I heard Charlie say: "Hey, you have to move two blue squares past the Heffalump before you...oh man. What's that smell? It smells like...OH MY GOD! COSMO TOOK A CRAP FIVE INCHES AWAY FROM ME!"
I walked over with a wad of toilet paper and saw both boys standing across the room, pinching their noses shut with one hand, and Charlie holding his Piglet game piece in the other. I calmly told them that if it was too hard for them to simultaneously notice that the dog needed to go outside and play Candyland, maybe they needed to move on to something easier. Like going to bed.