Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Snakes, Chutes, and Ladders

with 3 comments

English: Snakes and ladders, board game. ‪Nors...

Image via Wikipedia - which is actually firemen hoses and ladders, making even more sense! Is this the Canadian version...hosers and ladders?

In our Anglo-American household which is a heady mix of spectrummy preschoolers and grown-ups stuck in their nerdy teenage ways, we often dispute what things should be called.  If the kids are involved, they win.  If it is between Spectrummy Daddy and I, the battle can last and last, we’re both as stubborn and argumentative as each other.  Actually, he would argue that he isn’t, but I refuse to budge from my assertions.  You see how it is here?

Sometimes one of us is forced to concede.  I don’t like the word “diaper” and he dislikes the connotations of the word “nappy”- an offensive term in the US, but not at all in England.  Though nappies or diapers can be pretty offensive- just ask Cubby, who has taken to blaming his sister when he has a dirty one.  Pudding initially called them nappies, but switched to diapers, and that decided that.

Then again, he argued that “pacifier” was a much better term than “dummy”, but Pudding called it a dum-dum, then Cubby did, and that is The End.

I allowed that “Mimosa” is a better term than “Buck’s Fizz”, the latter just a little too tacky sounding for a drink containing champagne, though it does get full marks for inspiring our Eurovision winners.

Had we not married, I would never have known that the popular board game we call Snakes and Ladders where I’m from, is actually Chutes and Ladders in the US.  Spectrummy Daddy might think he has won this round, because chutes are a far more logical companion to ladders than snakes, what with them both being a common feature of construction sites.  Still, I never let a little thing like logic get in my way (just don’t tell my Aspie that).

I was reflecting about this particular board game yesterday morning as my kids returned to school following their summer break.  Cubby went from crying about returning to school to a full screaming meltdown as he struggled to cope with a new teacher and classroom.  Pudding initially tried to bargain with me that she would go to school tomorrow, not today.  When this didn’t work, she worked her way up to refusing to get out of the car, and after a struggle to get her inside came the worst of all- withdrawing into herself.

As both kids were hit with anxiety which manifested in different ways, I was dismayed to find us all back at square one, after all the effort it took to settle initially.  So did we fall down a chute, or slide down a serpent?

I’d say that even as we were climbing ladders, I could hear the portentous hiss close at hand.  At times, trying to navigate this terrain makes me feel lost and scared, never knowing what is lurking in the surrounding jungle. A bite from one of these adders can leave us paralyzed for some time.

He might respond that there is no venom as we slide back down.  We simply land in a pile of rubble, dust ourselves off, and start back up the ladder to get back to work.  And he might be right, because though there were tears this morning, they were fewer.  They’re getting better at working their way up the rungs again.

What we can agree on, is that the ladder is the most important thing.  Because this game- whatever you may call it- is stupid, requiring huge amounts of patience.  There is no skill involved, just random luck with the throw of a dice.  I don’t want to play any more.  I need to find a way to cheat, moving onwards and upwards, never slipping back down.  I’m determined to win.  There is a good chance I will, just ask Spectrummy Daddy.  He’ll agree with me for the sake of peace an quiet, which I suppose would make him the real winner after all.  He might be a pacifier, but I wouldn’t call him a dummy.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

January 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

3 Responses

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  1. What a perfect metaphor that game is, isn’t it!! Hadn’t thought about it much before – but you are on to something!! Just when you think how horrible it is that you came down that chute/serpant – you find yourself climbing even higher on the ladder than you dared to imagine!! What ever you call it, as long as you get back up and start climbing after you fall, we will all be ok!!

    Joeysmommy

    January 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm

  2. This is genius and a perfect analogy – thank you, it’s one which will come in very handy in my job supporting parents. It also closely resembles a very tough time I had with my own son last year – luckily he’s still climbing, fingers crossed…….

    Ann Beck

    January 13, 2012 at 10:21 am

  3. […] Snakes, Chutes, and Ladders (spectrummymummy.com) […]


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