It's the Easter holidays. We're visiting the Grandparents. It's a beautiful sunny day (well there was a light spotting of rain, but this IS England and we were trying to ignore it). Anyway we are all in the garden (Grandaprents, 2 sets of parents, 4 grandchildren and a dog). And we're playing a game. A giant game of Snakes and Ladders, complete with an enormous plastic board and an inflatable dice which the dog keeps chasing. Everyone is laughing and smiling. It's the best fun we've had in ages and if you ever get a chance to play it, I highly recommend you give it a go. It beats Twister any day.
So why, just 30 seconds after this magical scene was my elder daughter lying in a crumpled heap on the grass, hyperventilating with tears and threatening (between breaths) to give up on life?
- Had the dog bitten her? NO
- Had she slipped over on the lethal plastic mat that formed the Snakes and Ladders board? NO (but it was a close call).
- Had her sister bitten her? Not this time.
- Had her cousin threatened to stop being her best friend? NEVER.
- Had her Mummy or Daddy told her off? Not in this instance.
- Had she fallen and cut her chin? Whoops, sorry that was a couple of weeks ago.
- Had her year's supply of chocolate Easter Eggs been taken away? NO, but it's only a matter of time.
So, what could it have possibly been that had caused Renée, my gentle, funny and clever 4 year-old to sob and cry like her whole world had fallen apart?I'll tell you what it was. Her cousin had thrown the dice, rolled a 4 and skipped past Renée on her way to claiming victory in the inaugural Snakes and Ladders garden Championship. That was all it had taken. Someone else, other than Renée had won.
So I ask you this? If losing a game of Snakes and Ladders can cause a child so much pain and distress, is competitiveness a good thing? (Well she certainly has fire in her belly as my brother quite rightly pointed out). Or is it not the winning that matters, but the taking part? And if so, how do I stop this from happening every time my child fails to finish in the top spot? Help me please. I can't take another second-place.
But just before I go, I want to give a quick mention to the Mummy Bloggers Carnival which highlights the best posts from...you've guessed it...the Mummy bloggers...from the last few weeks. There are some hysterical, poignant and uplifting stories. So click here and have a read. You won't be disappointed.