Monday, March 24, 2008

Genetics


“Let’s play that if you finish your dinner first then you win and if I finish my dinner first then I win,” The Mayor said to me.

“Okay,” I said smugly, knowing I would win.

[Look kid, I’ve been inhaling my food since the day you were born!]

I tried to eat slowly to let him win, but there is no pace as slow as a toddler eating and, as I knew I would, I finished first.

When I showed The Mayor my clean plate he instantly went from sunny to thunderstorms and yelled,

YOU CAN NEVER PLAY THIS GAME WITH ME EVER EVER AGAIN!

“You don’t like to lose do you Mayor?” I said calmly.

“NO! NO! NO!” he yelled.


K smirked and made a face that mocked me.

I don’t like to lose either. Not. At. all.

[K and I had to give up playing the game formerly known as Scrabble (now known as DIVORCE) because of this.]

I thought about how much I hate to lose as I sat with the kids while they finished dinner.

I pondered whether or not my deep aversion to failing kept me from taking important risks.

Is there some magically fulfilling career or life path that I have never pursued for fear of failure?

While nothing jumped to the fore, it seemed like a possibility.

After dinner, The Mayor, The Rooster and I got out the coloring books and I noticed that I was coloring in a completely predictable way.

Winnie the Pooh’s shirt was red, his body was golden and everything was perfectly within the lines.

Still thinking about how much I hate to lose and noticing what a rigid rule follower I was, I decided to conduct an Experiment in Chaos.

I chose a section of my coloring book picture, closed my eyes, picked a crayon at random and forced myself to color that section with the chosen color.

Following this method, Pooh’s shirt became blue and his body, orange.

I began coloring Eyore’s body a bright, sea-green blue.

“What are you doing?” The Mayor asked in accusation. “Eyore is gray and white.”

“Well Mayor, I thought I might try using different colors. I’m taking a leap of faith and hoping that something great will happen… or that nothing at all will happen. Either way, I think I’d learn something from that.”

He narrowed his eyes at me.

He shifted from foot to foot.

He looked at the garishly blue Eyore again.

“Please, please, please color the rest of him gray, Mama!”

“I don’t know, Mayor…”

“Mama, Mama, I know, let’s trade coloring books..”

It was close to bed time and I didn’t feel like fighting, so I traded.

The Mayor chose all the right colors and finished the picture staying within all the lines.

Ah, what unfortunate DNA he inherited.


50 comments:

WILLIAM said...

HE will develop a penchant for park rangers.

furiousBall said...

You probably colored Pooh green too, sheesh

Circus Kelli said...

There's nothing like children to teach you something about yourself. :)

LadyBugCrossing said...

My sister and I look almost identical - we are 8 years apart in age with no one in between.
Her nose is different - just a tiny bit - and she is shorter. Other than that, you can't tell us apart...
She colors outside the box. I color inside the box.
We will never change and that's okay.
xo
LBC

Woman Undone said...

Talk about inheirting the better side of genetics!!!

We are not allowed to play SCRABBLE in my house either. After spending $50 on dictionaries we decided to end the madness.

Now the ban is on Cadoo, Monopoly and yahtzee. Everyone swears I cheat......

bzybead said...

organization will get you everywhere, and I am nowhere. . . except in my creatively organized world.

As far as competition is concerned, don't even tawlk to be about it. . .I mostly don't like being verbally wrong. DEFENSIVE pops out as a strong characteristic for me, and then POUTING.

JoeInVegas said...

Just what picture did you end up coloring?

Annie said...

I'm very impressed that he colours inside the lines - my three year old chooses green - for every.single.thing she colours - and scribbles all over the page! Wonder how I should analyze that one?

Amanda said...

I feel a deep, food inhaling bond with you, and Scrabble as divorce, we know it well in this house. My husband also calls any shot I make when I school him on the basketball court a "circus shot."

I think the world needs inside-the-liners and outside-the-liners. And I have every confidence that for every gate the DNA closes, it opens another that leads to far better pastures. Lucky, boy, lucky mama.

Don Mills Diva said...

My hubby and I both hate losing and being wrong. You can well understand why board games or paddling a canoe together brings us periously close to divorce...

THE MOM BOMB said...

It's not necessarily unfortunate DNA! Hates to lose? A love of rules? Sounds like a lot of doctors and lawyers I know.

Beck said...

Heh, the poor little guy with his mother colouring ALL WRONG...

Velma said...

Isn't it amazing, the stuff we see repeating in our kids? I love that my kids got my verbal diarrhea (most of the time) but I wish they hadn't inherited the emotional over - sensitivity thing.

Kyla said...

Oh, the Mayor is JUST LIKE BubTar. Our biggest struggle is the bad sport thing. Neither of us are that way, really...but BubTar is nonetheless.

Lisa said...

Maybe that will translate to a teen age boy who keeps his room clean someday? Maybe?

Anonymous said...

You - fear of failing? This from the person that says - let's save our money quit our jobs and travel for a year or more. The person who had the confidence to know she and K could get jobs when they came back. The person who consulted for her own company for several years. The person who has worked with CEOs on projects? I think this person tackles dragons ;-). Love your biggest fan. Grandma Seattle

lisawho? said...

oh ho ho ho...hate losing? Don't all lil guys hate losing? Wish i grew outta that but i never did. Last week while playing a picture matching/memory game with three of my students I lept to my feet with my arms in the air yelling, "I'm the winner!" when I won.
I'm not even ashamed, I keep laughing at myself, what's wrong with me?

new zealand tourism said...

I have a nephew who cannot stand to lose to me! It is actually comical to watch him change the rules mid game to try and make sure he wins.

Above Average Joe said...

Here's a few. Does he get upset if his vegetables are touching his potatoes? Does he eat all of one food before moving on to another?

I get to deal with that.

mothergoosemouse said...

Ah, Scrabble. We had to buy an egg timer and an official Scrabble dictionary in order to keep the peace.

What Above Avg Joe said...um, I still do that. Is that bad?

Queen of Shake-Shake said...

But wait...look how great you turned out.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Failure is not an option and Eeyore is always gray. Hard lessons to learn.

liv said...

i like you and the Mayor the way you are. even if eeyore needs to be gray.

Shirley said...

While reading, I thought about Frost's 'The road not taken'. I used to think what if I'd done this or that. It's a waste of brain cells. Nothing wrong with inside the boxers or outside the boxers. Takes all kinds to make up the world.

April said...

I really like Shirley's comment above. She's right, it does take all kinds. Still, I think it's the kind of thing where the grass is always greener...

He will get better at losing games with his peers. It's the sort of thing that's very hard to teach at home, so don't stress too much about his competitve spirit. It's better for him to want to win than to be Eeyore!

kittenpie said...

We solved our Scrabble problem by not writing down our score. INstead, we still get to play together, and we aim to use every tile by the end. It helped a lot.

flutter said...

Oh my GOD. He is channeling my fiance.

SCARY.

Laura said...

As cute, funny and lovely this post is...it really got me thinking...wow - double whammy!!! Thanks for making me think...and chuckle!

jakelliesmom said...

I am one of these, and have born one of these. We are not always fun, but we are generally right. (At least we assume we are.)

Cara said...

I can already see my personality in my first born, poor kid. He genitically will be a type A personality and not deal with change or failure very well. Hoping the second one gets hubby's lay back genes.

Traceytreasure said...

I think that we all hate to lose. Scrabble is hard for us because we have our own, made up language. We have no way of proving how those words that we've made up are spelled. We have a saying to make the young ones feel better though, it's; "First is worst and last is best!" It makes the little ones feel special even if they finish last! I'm going to go color outside of the lines! Great post! Thanks!

foop said...

Grandma Seattle took the words right outta my mouth.

You have been blowing my mind for 20 years, J. You're one of my heroes and, if Owen grew up to be 100% exactly completely just like you, the world would be all the better for it.


xo

Lotta said...

Aaah yes, this sounds about right. My son is such a super anxious kid. I'm afraid I passed along my nerves to him. But my daughter is so laid back you would swear those veggie puffs were laced with ganja.

creative-type dad said...

I forgot what I was going to say - william's comment about Park Rangers made me laugh too much...

Day Dreamer said...

LMAO!

Well, he'll also be well written!

And funny....and have a great metabolism!!!

(If you're shoveling food..you look GREAT!!!)

Mrs. Schmitty said...

I has always been very Obsessive Compulsive, but when it comes to coloring, I think the artist in me takes over. I always tell the kids to use their imagination and color anyway they like. I love to color and I like to just pick a crayon at random and go to it...even if that means Barbie gets purple hair and green skin!

Worker Mommy said...

Oh no...gosh, I hate to think what my kids are inheriting from me.

mamatulip said...

This played out like a little movie in my mind...so well written.

jeanie said...

Oooh - I am never colouring in against any member of your family! You would wipe the floor with me.

Over here, the grass is always more multi-coloured!

Jennifer said...

Grandma Seattle's comment made me a little teary. Aww.

Suburban Oblivion said...

How funny! I'd say he'll probably out grow it, but thats money I'm not willing to lose :P

SUEB0B said...

Brilliant. Something about an apple and a tree and not very far...

QT said...

IT is the Virgo in you, isn't it??

Wendy said...

I think the alternative is "I do it MY OWN WAY!!" as she grabs the red crayon..... Sometimes, a little rule-following would be nice.

Deb said...

I don't even want to talk about the OCD behaviors my 20-month-old already exhibits. Nor should we discuss the "slash and burn" approach Hubby and I take with Monopoly if we want everyone to remain calm.

gwendomama said...

i tried this with my husband. he is incapable. of. not. telling. small. children. how. to. color.


freakin artists. are the worst.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

ahhhhhh. I am you and Declan is Mayor.

Mimi aka pz5wjj said...

Cute! And you say you have problem relating to him! He's you!

Mimi said...

You know, at least you can see that you and The Mayor clash like you do because you are so similar. Maybe that will help in the teen years.

Oh, and Scrabble? Pynchon and I played on our first date (really) and we tied. We had to play again, and he almost didn't call me back because I seemed a little competitive about it. Um, YEAHHHH.

deb said...

The apple doesn't fall from the tree for any of us.