SJ on the Move

Monday, February 18, 2008

To Win or Not To Win - that is the question

Today SJ asked if I'd play Candy Land with her. I said yes and we set everything up. Her first comment as we got ready to draw the first card was, "I'm gonna win." I diplomatically said, "SJ, sometimes you win and sometimes the other person wins." Well, she was not deterred, "I'm gonnna win" was repeated emphatically several more times as the game got underway.

About 3 draws into it SJ drew the lollipop card. For those of you who know Candy Land, that's a pretty good card and gets you fairly close to the end of the road. She continued with her "I'm gonna win" declarations as I kept drawing cards that did not get me very far. Then, she drew the candy cane card! Back toward the starting square she went. Her "I'm gonna win"'s got a little more anxious and tear filled. Slowly, but surely, I ended up winning the game. SJ was quite upset and cried for a good several minutes. I tried to reassure her that sometimes she wins, but othertimes other people win. I tried to relate and told her that I don't like losing to people bigger than me either, but she seemed to just need a good cry. Finally, she agreed to play again. Quietly I prayed, "Please let SJ win this time."

Well, the second game went much like the first except that I was the one who drew the ice cream card and shot ahead rather quickly while SJ got card that kept her slow gowing. "You can't win 2 times!" was SJ's cry laden response. I ended up winning again a few turns later and she lost it (see picture below.) "I really didn't want to win this time," I told SJ, but she was not comforted.

I once thought I'd be the parent that never lost a game on purpose. I mean, the kid has to know that they can't win all the time. They have to understand how to lose and how to do so gracefully, right? I convinced her that we needed to play one more time. I couldn't win 3 times in a row, right? Surely the cards would be in her favor this time - they just had to be. I didn't think she'd handle losing a 3rd time. Well, the thing about SJ is sometimes when she tries to pick up a card she accidently picks up 2 and I get a peek at the second card - the one I'll end up with. A couple draws into the game I had a peek at the lollipop card I was gonna get on my next turn. Well, while SJ was busy moving her man ahead, I made a decision to place the lollipop card down one so she'd get it on her next turn. Ah! here I was stacking the cards so she'd win - or at least get significantly ahead. Well, in the end it really was a good thing I did. For if I hadn't, I would have surely won a third time in a row and she probably would have never played another game again.

SJ was very happy she won (see picture above!) But, considering I lost she thoughtfully asked, "Are you upset?" I told her no, but that I was a little sad I didn't win. "You can't win every time" she said. "Yes, SJ, I know, I can't win every time."

Next we played Memory. There is no winner or loser in Memory since everyone ends up with some matches. Maybe we'll stick with this game for a while!


At 10:23 PM, Blogger Kansas Mom said...

We haven't dealt with this yet as the only game First Son really plays is Cariboo and he's convinced he wins every time no matter who ends up drawing the last card. I'm sure we don't help matters by letting him drop the ball in to open the treasure chest...but really, it's not that much fun the 100th time.

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Ruthie said...

Ben and I got a chuckle out of this post. That second picture is classic. It should come as embarrassing parental blackmail when she becomes a teenager... :)


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