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Friday, March 8, 2013

Play Games With Me

The world had presented me with a smorgasbord of little life scenarios as of late. I have thoughts and opinions about all of them. Around me, there is new life. This life is new to me and new to the world. There is lost life, and this life is new to another world. I learned of the saddest story of a family that could not wrap their arms around their son because of his sexuality. I have been let down by people that could not, for this or for that, hold true to their commitments. I have opinions about all of it. Every single bit of it. I could tell you how I feel about new life and lost life. My ramblings about homophobia could be endless. And disappointment? I could rant about constant dialog and continual discussion that turns into nothing more than, well, nothing. I won't though. I will keep all of my thoughts and opinions to myself. I'm quite good at it actually. Tonight, we are talking about Candy Land.

Graisyn Quinn is four now. She is every bit of four and sometimes older. She's witty and crass, while hysterical and opinionated. She's a lot like me, but amplified. My persistent little queeny is the perfect person to whoop her opponent's ass at Candy Land, or Chutes and Ladders, or The Lady Bug Game. But remember, tonight we are talking about Candy Land.

We've been trying to teach Graisyn the importance of playing fairly. In this venture, I am learning that there are a lot of approaches to molding this character in a spirited child. For example, Graisyn will knowingly cheat. I HATE cheating. I simply loathe it. While there are others that will allow her to cheat because she is "only" four, I will not. I give her one reminder followed promptly by the stink eye. If any further violations occur I close up shop. For me it is not a matter of following the rules. Sometimes rules are meant to be challenged. For me it is a matter of honesty. I know she's only four, but I've got news for all readers who are rolling their eyes at this very moment. The girl does not cheat when she plays with me. She doesn't even attempt it. 

So the other day Grai and I decided to crank out a quick game of Candy Land prior to my leaving for work. I shuffled the cards and picked the yellow pawn. Grai opened up the board and selected the blue pawn. We were off. I selected the ice cream cone card, which put me immediately near the finish line. Two minutes in and I won the game. It was uneventful. I didn't say much about winning and Grai was fine with losing. 

Round two. This round lasted for several minutes. My pawn passed up Grai's on the game board. Hers passed up mine. It was competitive, but fun. She was laughing and mildly taunting me as she neared the finish line. She was certain the win would be hers. I thought she was going to burst with excitement. There's just something about victory I think.

Graisyn did win that round. I lost just as gracefully as she did after losing the first round. She won in such a strange way though. I've been thinking about it ever since.

"Good game, Grai! You won this one."

"I know," she replied and grabbed my hand, "Good game, good game, good game." 


"I told you it was a good game."

"Why yes it was," I said.

My daughter has learned how to win and do it graciously. She can lose without throwing a fit or being sour. She has replaced her excitement of cheating with enthusiasm for the game. She is growing up. Before I know it she will be starting school. She will need to know how to win and how to lose. She will thrive if she can conduct herself with honesty and integrity. What better way to learn these basic life lessons than through a game. 

"Now go get the game, ya little shit! Mommy is gonna whoop your butt this time!" 

I'm kidding. Geez.

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