Wednesday, August 02, 2006

game playing

It sometimes surprises people who know my partner and his family, but I am no game player. I have the worst possible mindset for game playing: I'm impatient and extremely competitive. So, when I'm too impatient to think strategically, I get seriously crabby when I, not surprisingly, lose.

Over the years, my strategy has been to avoid all games, since in addition to not really enjoying the stomach-churning experience of sore loserdom, I also find my own competitiveness uncomfortable. So I find myself in the slightly awkward position of being uninterested in the games beloved of childhood: Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land (which has other, philosophical difficulties) and War, or as it's known in our house, Peace-Keeping Mission. I get quickly disengaged from these games, unsettled by the Eldest's enthusiastic competition, and try to redirect him towards something cooperative, such as building blocks. No go.

But the babes and I play games. We play peekaboo, and he always sees me. We play build it and knock it down - and he always does. We play for me? thank you. For you? you're welcome. We play throw the ball, and he sometimes does. And as of today, we play share the peach.

The babes, whose track record as an eater is a bit spotty, watched me carefully as I ate a peach today. His own opinion on peaches had been expressed a number of times, in regards to puree, and then in relation to a beautifully, perfectly ripe peach. He declined this object and its potential for juicy mess. Repeatedly. But here I was with an extremely unripe, sour peach, and he was watching me avidly. I shrugged and handed it over, to be rewarded by the sour-lemon face. And then.

The babes paused, unquirked his mouth, and sucked on the peach again. He sucked on that thing for a good five minutes, before handing it back - inquiringly. I obliged by taking another bite, and he went back to work. Tonight I type with a wakeful babes at my feet, who is standing and dimpling at me, awaiting my next bite.

My turn. His turn. Happy, happy sourness, and nobody loses.

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