Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Win some and Lose Some
little kid is incredibly competitive.
I played checkers with him while on vacation, and in spite of only having played once with his brother, he was incredibly cunning and calculated about each move. He used words like "retreated" (or wetweated) and "defense tactic" and could predict moves I hadn't even considered. It was like playing with an experienced war general. I was impressed.
When it became clear that I was going to beat him, he made the grand and noble decision to "let me win," purposely sacrificing his pieces so we could "just end it." He then congratulated me for winning and pointed out again that he had let it happen and that he was feeling particularly nice that day. "Do you think it was genewous of me?" he asked.
Yeah, okay. Whatever. I won.
Everything is a competition though, including the contest for my affection. If I am snuggling the cat and saying that she's the best cat ever, he asks, "What about me?"
This is not a child who is denied affection in any way. I am physically and emotionally very close to them constantly. Constantly. Some days claustrophobically so. Also, he's not even a cat. Making him a clear loser for the "Best Cat Ever" award. I always assure him that I love him too but often point out that it's okay to let something or someone else have a moment of the spotlight.
One day I was commenting on the softness of our dog's nose, and I swear to you, he said, "I have a soft nose, too! My nose is softer than Murphy's."
I know it's absurd but I couldn't agree and insisted that no, I thought Murphy's was softer.
His insistence intensified--now he not only had the softest nose in the whole house, but also have I felt his hands? Murphy doesn't have the softest hands, that's for sure. He was like a defense attorney, hammering home the evidence that he had an extremely, extraordinarily soft nose and then also his hands of magic velvet.
I kissed Murphy on the head and told him he had such a soft nose, maybe the softest nose in all the history of the world; Murphy looking kind of worried and confused but also pleased to be involved.
"But my nose is softer!" little kid had to add.
Since then, it has become a running joke in our family. When little kid interrupts someone's excited story at dinner to talk about Minecraft, I tell him that yes, he has a very soft nose too. When he pretends to accidentally nudge the cat off of my lap so he can make more room for himself, I tell him not to worry, that his nose is soft too. When he wedges himself between me and Mr. Ashley, I turn to Mr. Ashley and ask if he knows how very soft little kid's nose is? Has he heard? When he's ridiculously sad over an imagined familial slight (we are incredibly dramatic at 6), I assure him that he shouldn't worry, his nose is almost as soft as Murphy's.
Some days out of nowhere, he will ask, "Is my nose softer than Murphy's nose?" and some days, depending on my mood, I let him win the battle for the softest nose.
And some days I tell him it is certainly not, and that it is Murphy's turn to have the softest nose in the house for a minute. Because you can't always win.
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