How Being a Good Loser is Easier Said Than Done


Have you ever played the game, Trouble? I’m the blue guys in the above photo. My 4 year old son is yellow. If you are familiar with this game you will know that I am getting destroyed in the match pictured. I couldn’t roll a 6 to save my life and he was swimming in 6’s and letting me know about it with an NFL style happy dance as they popped up.

Cute, right?

WRONG! As much as Daddy loves to play games with the kids, there is still that competitive fire that creeps in every now and then. That voice that calls out, “C’mon man! You used to be an elite athlete and now this kid is running all over you. Do something!” I’m not exactly sure what I was supposed to do in this instance, aside from yelling, “Look! Mickey Mouse!” while opening the dice container and placing it on a 6, but it was definitely a frustrating round.

Before this story gets out of control, I should point out that at no point did I let my son in on the fact that my head was exploding with the desire to pick up the game and throw it out in the snow, where I could then pretend that our snowman wanted to play with it. I’m not a monster, after all. The snowman, on the other hand…

I grew up as a competitive person and it has been the thing that has driven me for years. In sports, at work and even with blogging, my competitive nature is what pushes me to want to be better at everything I do and it’s not something I regret having. Now that I have kids, however, I need to work at finding the balance between competitiveness and fun. I wish it was something I could just turn off but it doesn’t seem to be working out that way. We played Mario Bros just last night and even though we were playing as teammates, my son’s need to get all the mushrooms, paired with his ability to stand directly in front of the television so I can’t see my guy, brought back memories of when I used to just smash my controller on the ground and then find something else to do until my parents bought me a new one.

Ironically enough, typing this post has given me a lot of perspective on the issue because, well, look how ridiculous it sounds while you read it back. It’s relatively easy to teach kids to be respectful and gracious when they lose at something but it’s not always easy to teach ourselves new ways of doing things. I’m working on it though and I’m definitely enjoying myself more and more as I suppress the need to win against my toddlers… It’s a good thing they can’t read our minds, that’s for sure.

Do you ever get the urge to flip the Monopoly board or turn off a game of MarioKart in mid stream? Please share your thoughts in the comments so I can feel better about myself.


Don’t Eat My Snack, Okay?

One of the joys of having a daycare running out of my house, is that I get to learn about how truly different kids can be. What is funny to one, could be horrifying to the next. Never has this been more evident than when I attempted to play a little gag on the group at a recent snack time.

We’ve all seen the game played before; “Hey, look over there!”, as I reach over and pretend to eat one of the kid’s snacks. Everyone erupts with laughter and encourages me to do it again to a different child. In my mind, the kids know I have no intention on actually eating their snack. In their minds, however, I am a snack eating monster who will stop at nothing to get my hands on those sweet, sweet apple slices.

That day, the game ended innocently enough. We had all had a good laugh and the kids finished their unstolen snacks with smiles, knowing that they had defeated the angry snack monster. At least, that’s what I thought had happened that day; until snack time came around the next day, that is. I had completely forgotten the game and was catching up on the day’s news, when I heard a voice from across the room say,

Chris, don’t eat my snack, okay?!

Oh yeah, the snack game! Thinking this plea was an invitation to steal some yogurt, I made my way over to the table and treated the children to my deepest “Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum” giant voice. The only problem was that upon arrival at my destination, I could see in this child’s face that his statement was no joke. The poor little guy was petrified at the thought of me coming over to steal his hard earned yogurty reward and I felt terrible.

This was just one of the many, many lessons I am learning about the different personalities of children. Just as my son won’t watch Tangled because of Rapunzel’s scary mother, this little boy did not like the thought of a snack monster coming to trick him out of his loot. They all have their quirks and that’s what makes them all so unique and amazing. Needless to say, it’s been a month since the incident and the snack monster hasn’t made any more appearances. Still, every snack time since the incident, I am reminded of the joke gone wrong as I hear,

Chris, don’t eat my snack, okay?

Don’t worry buddy, the snack monster has retired.