Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Name of the Game

Some parents have been known to debate the pros and cons of purposefully allowing their children to win at board games; should they or shouldn't they?
Anyone with this concern, and a deck of cards, can rest assured - if you play concentration with a four-year old, you will legitimately lose at least fifty percent of the time despite your best efforts.
No matter how hard I concentrate, my concentration doesn't last long enough. When it's his turn he takes his time, and time to him is not a concrete concept to begin with. He'll start telling some unrelated story, or requesting a Kleenex, skillfully trying to distract me while I sit there thinking "hurry up! I can only remember where that queen is for another five seconds!"
Not only will you lose but then you'll have your nose rubbed in it in a way that only a four-year old can accomplish by repeating phrases like: "I really cleaned up, didn't I, mommy?" or "I thought it would be a tie but then I was the winner. I had thirteen pairs and you only had twelve (we have cards missing from our deck.)"
Even worse, after they mention their incredulous thirteen-to-twelve-pair win five or six hundred times, they'll ruminate on the final plays of the game leading up to the big win: "First I picked up those tens, then I picked those two fours, then I got the nines, and then the queens." How the heck did they remember that?
Your only real chance at the game is to initiate it just before their bedtime.

song: The Name of the Game • artist: Abba

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