It has been said on occasion that I can be quite competitive (I don’t see it myself).
Rory is VERY competitive, he’s one of those people who’s really good at everything (except ice skating, he hates it because he can’t do it. I, on the other hand, am amazing at ice skating).
As a result Aoife is SUPER competitive. Like ridiculously so. Everything is a competition where she has to win or be the best. Walking home from school she has to run the last few feet to the front door to win. Going downstairs for breakfast she must go first to win (I’ve pointed out many times that us letting her go first isn’t actually winning).
I’m not one of those ‘everyone is a winner’ parents, we have winning and losing. We might as well prepare her for those harsh realities of life. But I do believe in good winning and losing.
Aoife is both a terrible winner and a terrible loser. The worst.
When she wins a game there may be a small song about winning along the lines of
“I’m a winner, I’m the best, you’re a loser” and maybe a little victory jiggle. When she loses there’s stomping, growling, comments on the unfairness of the situation and sometimes even accusations of foul play.
I try to explain that losing is OK as long as we’ve tried our best, upon losing a game she should declare ‘good game’ to her competitor. Maybe this will make her less smug upon winning.
NOT A CHANCE.
Whilst Seth napped recently we ‘enjoyed’ a family game of Dobble- I made the grave mistake of winning (I tried not to but I just did). I was shouted at for not giving her a chance to win, we were shouted at for giving her clues, I was banned from the game
“I’m not playing if you continue to win. Me and Daddy will just play”
I didn’t even smug win.
Rory convinced Aoife that I should be allowed to join in Happy Families (a name that should probably be reassessed) Aoife was off to a flying start. She did a little ditty about having two families and combined it with a small fist pump.
Then it was my turn
“Aoife, do you have purple number on…..”
“DON’T EVEN DARE THINK ABOUT ASKING FOR THAT ONE”
“But it’s the one I need…”
“DON’T DARE ASK FOR THAT ONE AGAIN”
She won the game but we didn’t play again.
She is like a small dictator of fun. She decides who can have fun, how they can have fun and even how to express joy at that fun.
Just yesterday, making our way back from the Dales along the country roads we went over a big hill Rory could barely contain his excitement
“No Daddy, you say ‘Weeeeeeeeee’ when you go over a hill.”
Another hill, another declaration of fun
“NO DADDY, I’VE ALREADY TOLD YOU IT’S WEEEEEEE. YOU MUST SHOUT WEEEEEEEE GOING OVER HILLS AND ON ROLLERCOASTERS AND THINGS ISN’T THAT RIGHT MUMMY?”
“I’m staying out of it”
Over the next hill Rory dutifully said “Weeeeeeeee” but I think we were all aware that the delight just wasn’t there. Being told how to have fun kind of saps the fun bit.
Now half term is here, I have a week of playing games to look forward to, smug winning and angry losing ahead of me (I’ll let you decide from who) and I just can’t wait.
(Don’t tell Aoife I said that).