As a kid my family would drive a few blocks away each Saturday to visit with my grandparents and have dinner. My grandmother was a great cook and would always prepare a large spread of food. After a long meal my grandmother would wash up the dishes (wearing her yellow rubber gloves) and when finished my brother & I knew it was time for fun. Well before the fun she would heat up a hot fudge jar in a pan of boiling water, scoop out some vanilla ice cream and make us a great bowl. Now with ice cream in front of us my grandmother would open the “game drawer” and bring out Cootie. She had the original game and the box was worn but most of the pieces were still there. The only missing pieces were a couple of the antennas which she had replaced with some shortened Q tips. The game would include a die which when rolled the number showing would relate to a particular body part labeled with the same number. The antenna, legs, eyes and heads each had a specific color but the bodies were all different. I can remember to this day how I would get upset if I wasn’t the first to roll a one which would then let me have choice of body color, I know, childhood drama. In the end it really didn’t matter who picked what color or who built their cootie first but the fun, memories and family time we had with each other would last through the years.
A few years later on Christmas morning I unwrapped a gift from Santa to find that I would have my own (newer) Cootie game. The game is still at my mother’s house and when my kids visit or have a sleep over it is one of the games they always play. I have a good feeling that Santa just might leave a newer version under our tree this year, just a feeling.
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