Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our family has always been competitive. Very competitive. I realize people may find this odd and even unhealthy, but we don't. I grew up in a very competitive family (my dad used to do this winners dance around us when we lost at a board game-it was obnoxious) and Jamie's family was the same. A friend of our family was mortified the first time he played the girls in Sorry and they informed him that nobody wins second place, but rather second place is considered "first loser". Don't worry, the girls are fine. When we are not playing some sort of competitive game we strive to be incredibly affirming. :)

Anyway, in the early days of playing games with your children it does not require a whole lot to beat them. I can sort of pay attention when I am playing Princess Memory with Macie and still pull off a pretty easy victory. This is true of the games that require a certain measure of skill or memory. As Tori and Isabelle have gotten older they have managed to win a good number of games like Rack-o, Sorry, or Skip-Bo, where skill is involved, but also a good amount of luck. We have good competition but it is known that Mom and Dad still rule the roost in the family game world. But this past weekend I began to sense a change and I don't really like where it is headed.

Isabelle was out on a date with her pal Heather, so Tori, Macie and I took the opportunity to spend some quality girl time together. We headed to Caribou, got our respective drinks, and sat down to play some Rummy. Now, I admit I am not a great card player. I did not grow up playing traditional card games and there is definite skill in playing and knowing what has been played and what can yet be played and what the odds are, etc. I do not have this skill set, nor have I attempted to develop it very much. This defiiency has not seemed to deter me from remaining competitive in family card games with the girls (I rarely, if ever beat Jamie, but I have conceded this for sake of my own sanity). However, Friday night I appeared incredibly deficient. Tori's many hours of playing cards has seemed to pay off. I first thought I was the victim of her lucky draws, but after she beat me 6 straight times, I realized that I was losing to a superior player. Blah- shot to the ego. I did not intend to stay at Caribou that long, but Macie was lost in her own imaginary play world at the table next to us, so I determined to stay there until I could beat the little twerp. I finally beat her in the 7th game. It did not make me feel so great about myself to have a 1-6 record against my 9 year old, but at least I finally won once and could walk out with some measure of dignity.

We went home and she beat me three times at wii tennis. It was not my night so I just sent her off to bed feeling like my competitive days at the top of the Miller family game world had come to an end. I did not imagine this would happen to me at the young age of 34.

Saturday night the girls wanted us all to play wii bowling. After my dreadful showing the night before I was reluctant to compete again and not excited to be the token bad player in the competition (you know, the one who is playing but who nobody really pays attention to because there game has no real impact on who wins-sad). However, I determined in my mind that is was good to participate in the all family activity, so I gave it a try. Let's just say sweet redemption. I bowled a wii career high 237 and beat my entire family (including Jamie- even better). Somehow, I even strung together 6 straight strikes at one point in my bowling game. I did not gloat, as that would be bad sportsmanship, but I couldn't contain the joy of being restored to a position of worthy competitor. I almost thought to hang up the controller and go out on top, but the competitive side of me gained some hope that I still may have some game in me yet.

All that to say, I have a new rival. She is about 4 foot 7 inches tall. She is only 9 and looks like a sweet young girl, but don't be fooled. She is out for blood and will do whatever it takes to beat you. She has no mercy, even if you are her kind and loving mother. I suppose I am partially responsible for this, but I am going to place most of the blame on Jamie, maybe even Grandma Sue. :) Look out baby girl! Mama's back!

p.s. Now before you think I am the only one who needs to watch my back in the family game world- ask Jamie who beat him two games straight in wii tennis. The girls couldn't go to bed the other night until he beat her. Oy vey! The next few years are going to get interesting. :)


Tara said...

HAHAHA!!! Love the pic! Jake kicks all our butts at wii bowling.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading this!! Grandma Sue says she is glad she could help with Tori's competitive spirit.

Richardson Family said...

Your all winners because the girls will have wonderful family memories, cheesy I know, but true!

Life with Kaishon said...

I don't know how I missed this but I just laughed my head off : ) Seriously. Every night Kaishon and Jonathon want to play Skipbo : ) I feel ashamed of myself that I LOVE winning, I used to be the nice mom that always made sure her kid won : ) Not anymore.