Tic Tac Toe

Having spent a lot of the last month entertaining themselves in waiting rooms, other people's houses, restaurant tables and on long car rides, my children have developed an affinity for tic tac toe. The desire to win and inability to develop sufficient strategy has them taking many approaches.

In Olive Garden one night, I'm playing TTT with Charlie. Now there are Charlie-imposed RULES to doing anything with Charlie, but especially this game.

1.) He has to have the green crayon.
2.) You can have 'any color dat you want to have' but it better be red.
3.) He is never the X.
4.) He always goes first.
5.) You have to help him see where he can block you if it's on a diagonal.
6.) You can never win.

Well, you had me til #6, kid. I have no problem with taking you down. I will try to have an even mix of cat games and maternal victories, but I'm not going to let you win.

After about ten games, he starts developing his strategy. He'll go, then I'll go. Then he hovers his crayon over each spot and looks at my face. I assume he's looking for a sign that I don't want him to go there so that he can pounce. (Signs that his therapies are working! Looking for facial cues! Woot!!)

Once I've given him several misleading looks of horror, he goes for a more direct approach. Before he makes his move, he asks me, "Where do you tink you are going to want to go next? I need to block you."

I tell him a few times before I start to lie. He 'does not love dat' approach. So he has a new idea, "I will go to turns, den you can go two turns, den I can go two turns and den win!"

Huh, that worked. And it was the exact number of turns before you win. Every time. Good thinking, kid.

Thankfully, the food comes before we have to go down any more paths.


On the long road trip to Oklahoma, Dixie was annoyed to find herself the only backseat denzien still awake and so she started playing TTT with her imaginary friend. Dixie's either very generous or not very bright, because the imaginary friend won every game.

Someday, that girl is going to have to take the comedy act on the road. I wish I could remember the dialogue she had with herself. I was laughing too hard to drive in a straight line to the nearest bathroom and more than one type of accident nearly occurred.


The girls were playing one day in a waiting room and decided to expand the game to be a 4x4 grid rather than a 3x3, but couldn't agree on if you'd then need 3 in a row to win or if you had to go for the 4. They were also having a visual discrimination problem with the larger grid, especially when it was hand drawn and slightly wonky. They never could forsee strategy sixteen positions rather than nine.


Melody has a different TTT hang-up than Charlie's obsession with the big win. She wants to know why the cat gets all the credit for winning, when he's not even in the restaurant.


DowlanSmith said...

Charlie: beating you, two by two.

Anonymous said...

Dixie and Melody are going to teach Charlie so much that he won't have anything left to learn.

Love ~ Papa