Yeah, I said it! In fact, I didn’t even get a T-Shirt because my son took it right off my back! Never have I been as humiliated as I was this past weekend when my 4 year old son asked if I would play Mario Kart on the Wii with him, and then he proceeded to teach me just how old I am getting.
Oddly enough, my first thought when he asked me to play was if he was old enough for me to not let him win. After all, I am very serious about my gaming, just look at the photo above. It had never occurred to me that he could possibly be in a totally different league than I was. A much, much higher league, in fact.
I should have known things weren’t going to go as planned when I couldn’t get the Wii to recognize the 2nd remote, prompting my ever so funny wife to quip, “Haha, you’re like the old guy who can’t figure out the electronics”. Very funny, dear. Now go ahead and sleep and don’t worry about why I have a bucket of warm water next to the bed…
After getting the controller issue sorted out, which was totally a Nintendo Wii issue and NOT an old man issue, I set out to let my son take an early lead in the race before I would pounce on the final lap and take him down. After all, kids need to learn about winning and losing at an early age to help them deal with it later on in life, right?
Here’s the problem with my game plan, not only did he take an early lead, but I felt like my driver was stuck in quick sand the entire race! I couldn’t make a move without hitting a banana or driving off a cliff and finished in last place in 3 of our 4 races. I am mortified to even be admitting to this, but at one point I even glanced over at my son’s remote to see what he was doing differently that I was. It was hopeless and it certainly didn’t help to hear the continuous chuckles from the peanut gallery! Ahem, Wifey!
The tipping point came when I calmly stated to my driver, Luigi, that maybe he should have spent more time training like his brother, Mario, and less time goofing around. My son then answered, “Its okay Daddy, just do the best you can”, which gave me pause and perspective on what was going on here.
I realized two things in that moment. First, that I was actually getting frustrated at a video game, which means I’m not as old as I thought I was. The second thing is that my son is actually learning from the lessons we teach him, such as “Always try your best” and “Practice makes perfect”.
It was an eye opening experience for me and a very cool moment of clarity to see your parenting lessons come full circle.
There is one more thing I’d like to point out. Just because I lost to my son, badly, on this day, it doesn’t mean that I’ve given up on the game altogether. I’ll pull all nighters if I have to but I’ll get back to the Mario Kart dominance of my early 20’s and that’s a guarantee! The next time he meets me on the
battlefield basement couch, he will see a whole new attitude and a very different looking Luigi!
Watch out, son of mine, Daddy’s coming for that trophy!!!