We all have a place where we reside on the spectrum of competitiveness. I believe that this place changes with age, company, and situation. I am not as competitive as I used to be. My years of playing competitive sports are behind me. I have grown to accept that I will never beat my husband at chess. I couldn’t care less if your car, house, or clothes are nicer than mine.
There is one stand out exception to my decreased levels of competitiveness.
If you and I were playing a game of Scrabble together, I would block the triple word score. And I wouldn’t feel bad about it at all.
I would not take it easy on you if we were playing Bananagrams. I don’t care if you’re only ten. “Peel.”
Lately, our word game of choice has been Ruzzle. I reigned as the undefeated champion of our house… until last night.
You may think that my opponent was my husband. No, he hasn’t beaten me yet. Or perhaps it was my sixteen year old daughter. That would make sense, as she has beaten me at Scrabble before, but no, it wasn’t her. It wasn’t my thirteen year old son either, although he did beat me at Words With Friends the first time that we played.
No, the Ruzzle attack was launched from my ten year old daughter. Yes. I said ten. That’s fourth grade. Stop laughing. I laughed, too, when she first beat my husband. At the time, I was still doubling her score often (We have never been parents that let our children win.) I even told her that if she ever beat me, I would buy her cake. I knew she would eventually win, but I thought I had a year or two. This happened the very next time we played.
I may be competitive, but I am not a sore loser. I will not make excuses. She played the game better than me. Although I still hate to lose at word games and I probably always will, I am thrilled for her victory. I am good at word games. The fact that she beat me means she is, too. What parent wouldn’t be happy about that?
I will never let her win at Ruzzle. I will block the triple word scores from all three of my children when we play Scrabble. If they ever want to race me to finish a New York Times crossword, I will try my very hardest to defeat them. If I reign victorious, I will tell them “Good game” and encourage them to try again. But if they beat me, I will be the very first person to give them a high five and a congratulatory hug. I will applaud every victory they ever have, even if it is at the expense of my ego.
And I will buy them cake.
What about you? Are you competitive? Do you ever let your children win?