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Our Family Road Trip Game: Name Five Things That Annoy Dad?

With all six of us in the car, I’ll play any game that keeps everyone from bickering for a few minutes. That is, until an old favorite started targeting mom and dad.

The six of us are on a family road trip, and it’s one of those rare times that we’re getting along for five minutes. We’re playing Name Five, where someone might say, “Name five burger places.” Then, the rest of us shout our answers and rank our favorite. Somewhere in the sixth minute, someone starts bickering with someone else. I’m having fun, so instead of getting annoyed, I say, “Alright guys, name five things that annoy Dad.”

One kid immediately says, “Isaac, Vivi, Jayden, Jasmine, and Mom!”

The van erupts in laughter. I’m typically a dish-it-out-but-can’t-take-it kind of guy, but I had to admit it was a solid jab.

Are all dads like this? Easily annoyed, irritable, and impatient.

“Give yourself a little grace,” Laurie says. “I can tell the joke got in your head. I mean, how often do you come home to a clean house with the kids all getting along? We have a lot of children and full schedule.”

[Free Download: Routines for Morning and Night]

Of course she’s right. The kids can barely last five minutes without arguing about something incredibly petty or destroying something. But, when I look at a situation from their point of view, I see they don’t really intend to break things, argue with their siblings, or drive Laurie and me insane. They’re four kids acting like typical kids. Sure there are some medical diagnoses – including ADHD – that contribute to the chaos, but I appreciate that the kids can joke about my grumpiness, and that they’re not scared of or intimidated by me. I think of all the times Jasmine has asked, “Daddy, why are you so grouchy?” and I’m glad she keeps me accountable.

Laurie continues. “I need to do the same thing, and laugh it off when I get overwhelmed.”

Then, one of the kids says, “Let’s name five things that make Mom cry.”

Laurie says, “Game over! You can watch a show a now.”

The van erupts again, this time with shouts of, “Hooray!” and, “You’re the best, Mom!”

I look at Laurie and say, “Oh c’mon, honey. You’ve got to give yourself a little grace.”

“Hardy har,” she says.

[Rules for a Family Road Trip: Stay Calm and Breathe]