Mayhem (2 years old) plots a PC's demise
I've written a good bit about dungeoneering, but nothing about being a dad. I am the proud father of two girls: my five-year-old, Chaos, and my two-year-old, Mayhem.* I love these little two to death. It's funny. I'd never imagined I'd still be playing D&D as a parent. When I was a kid, I always figured when I finally grew up, I'd hit some point when I would only do grown up things. Suddenly, D&D wouldn't appeal to me, no more video games, and I'd start listening to adult contemporary music. Yet, here I am, 33-years-old, married with kids, and I play D&D almost as regularly as I did in high school, I play video games whenever I can (granted, which isn't much), and I just received the Black Tide "Light from Above" CD for Christmas.
Chaos (nearly 1 year old in the photo) awaits a TPK
Suffice it to say, my girls are used to seeing all sorts of odd books in their dad's office. They love playing with my dice and I've bought them each their own big d20s. The plastic minis from Wizards of the Coast are a bit of a godsend, as I don't have to worry about them playing with lead or ruining a paint-job. I have to admit, I'm pretty protective of my books (and by "pretty protective," I mean "borderline OCD"), but they really haven't gotten into them anyhow.
My daughters were born into a gaming. When Chaos was born, my good friend, Steve, gave her her own copy of the 3rd edition D&D Player's Handbook and I wrote her name in the cover (come to think of it, I should probably give that book back to her... I commandeered it for my own purposes via Fatherly Right). On top of that, a few of my players hand-made a set of giant, soft dice for her. They made the whole set and picked colors to mimic those of an old-school dice set. They have bells inside that jingle when they roll. A lot of time and effort went into those dice and my girls have gotten a good bit of use out of them (they like the big d20 and d12 the most).
Chaos (3 years old in the photo) enjoys her big dice
My daughters look forward to D&D night as much as I do. That's when their "uncles" and "aunts" stop by, loaded with sweets. They feast on cookies, cake, chips, and whatever else my health-conscious friends bring. I love it and so do they. It's a bit taxing on my wife who has to handle bedtime duty solo those nights. Normally, I put young Mayhem to bed while Mrs. Frost handles the elder Chaos (and even then, I'm usually on "clean up" with Chaos, telling her a Hercules story and singing her a song or two after she's had time with Mom). On game night, my wife has to round them up and get them to sleep on her own. No small feat when you have two girls as rambunctious as mine who have main-lined sugar for a half-hour or so.
On a side note, my wife isn't a gamer, but is very understanding and supportive of my hobby. I'm blessed in that way. She gave D&D a try and had some fun, but decided it really wasn't for her. On game nights, she usually hangs out with the other D&D widows and catches up on chick flicks on the DVR.
I'm not sure how much my girls grasp what I actually do down in the basement, but they do know I'm playing some kind of game. They don't seem to care too much, just as long as they get to devour the goodies. Like I said, there is nothing quite like game night.
*Obviously, these aren't their real names, but I don't feel comfortable posting that info.