Sonny and I recently had a chat about what he’d like to be when he’s older. Obviously I used the examples of an Astronaut and Prime Minister. I sold the virtues of studying hard, following his dreams, and that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
It was a conversation so riddled with clichés it only seemed apt to finish with a rendition of S Club 7’s ‘Reach for the Stars’. OK, so there are more appropriate songs I could have gone with but I don’t have a dance routine for those!
Anyway, he thought for a second,
“When I’m older I’m going to be tall!”
A Chinese mother and a father who’s a muscle spasm short of 5ft 8? Good luck with that! … was what I thought.
“Yeah, if you eat your vegetables”, was what I said.
But this isn’t the only genetics he need worry about. Both Sonny and Luca are ultra competitive. It’s an unfortunate cocktail of Janet and I’s making. I’m a bad winner, she’s an even worse loser. The result is just …. bad.
A couple of weeks ago we received a box in the post from Nintendo. Marked for the kids attention I should point out, obviously my days as the middle-man are over?
Inside was a Nintendo Wii Party U Pack, including goodies such as a set of characters, soft toys, party decorations, a Wii U Plus Remote, and a copy of Wii Party U. To say they were excited is an understatement.
Also included was a letter from Mr Nintendo. An imaginary letter.
“Dear Sonny and Luca.
This is a thank-you and well done for getting your hair cut without tears and tantrums,
We were outside the barbers for them opening. In hindsight I could have milked this for so much more but thinking on my feet is something I lost when the sleepless nights began four years ago.
The game itself is great, but what it’s highlighted is the hierarchy of competitiveness in our family.
At the top is Janet. unashamedly. I have an elbow shaped bruise on my back from when she misinterpreted a genuine cough as mockery?
Next are the boys. They take defeat badly, but not in a sulky, ‘I don’t want to play any more’ kind of way, more in a ‘best of 3,5,7,9…..I’m not having a bath until I win’ kind of way.
Victories are celebrated with an over exuberant dance around the room and sarcasm disguised as sympathy for the losers.
At the bottom is me. I used to be very competitive, then the kids came along and I soon realised there was little satisfaction in running around the room shouting ‘loser’ to a two-year old you’ve just beaten in a game of scissor, paper, stone. At least there wasn’t ….
You see they’ve now touched a nerve. They’ve mocked me once too often. No longer am I prepared to just let them win; they need a lesson in humility, and it’s a lesson I’m only too happy to give them.
How? By dancing around the room shouting ‘loser’ of course … Oh c’mon, give me a break, they started it, and have I not already mentioned the genes?