CONVERSATIONS WITH NICK ABOUT WINNING AND LOSING

tired

ALLISON: You spin the spinner, then you move your little man and whoever gets to Candyland first, wins. You’re doing good, Nick. You’re way ahead.

NICK: My turn.

ALLISON: Yep. Go ahead and spin. You got the lollipop. Oooohhh… you have to backwards now.

NICK: I want to spin again.

ALLISON: Not until it’s your turn again. You have to play by the rules.

NICK: But who’s gonna win?

ALLISON: We don’t know yet. Right now it’s daddy’s turn. Oh! Daddy moves forward two orange squares.

ME: I’m still behind.

NICK: My turn?

ALLISON: No. It’s my turn and then it’s your turn. Oh! Look! I won!

NICK: You won?

ALLISON: Yes!

NICK: But I wanted to win.

ALLISON: Well you won the first two games and I won this game.

NICK: But I wanted to win. I WANTED TO WIN!

ME: Well, buddy, you can’t win every time. Sometimes other people win.

NICK: I WANTED TO WIN! YOU MESSED IT ALL UP!

ALLISON: Nick, it’s just a game. It’s fun even when someone else wins.

NICK: NO! NO IT’S NOT! I WANTED TO WIN! I WANTED TO WIN!

ME: Buddy, maybe you’ll win next time.

NICK: BUT WHAT IF MOMMY WINS AGAIN? THAT’S WHAT I DON’T KNOW! I NEVER GONNA WIN!

ALLISON: Nick, you won twice.I won once.

NICK: I WANTED TO WIN! I DIDN’T WANT YOU TO WIN! I WANTED TO WIN!

ALLISON: (to ME) Uh-oh.

ME: No, this is good. It’s a good lesson. Let’s just talk it out.

*Twenty minutes later*

ALLISON: Nick, put down the game board and stop throwing things. It’s time for your bath.

NICK: NO! I’M NOT GONNA PUT IT DOWN! I GONNA PLAY THE GAME ALL BY MYSELF AND THEN I’LL WIN! I’M NOT GONNA PLAY WITH YOU OR YOU! I GONNA PLAY ALL BY MYSELF!

ME: Come on, buddy. Time to go upstairs.

NICK: NO! NO! NO! I GONNA STAY DOWN HERE! MOMMY DIDN’T LET ME WIN! THAT’S THE PROBLEM! I GONNA PLAY UNTIL I WIN!

ALLISON: No. We’re done. Time for bath.

NICK: NO!

ME: Yes. Come with me. Upstairs. Right now.

*Twenty minutes later*

ME: Stop rolling around on the floor and screaming. This is silly.

NICK: I! WANTED! TO! WIN! MOMMY! DIDN’T! LET! ME! WIN!

ME: Okay. Two minutes of silence.

NICK: NO!

ME: Yes. Starting right now.

NICK: NO!

ME: Yes. No talking. You have to calm down, buddy.

NICK: I DON’T WANT TO CALM DOWN!

ME: You have to Nick. Two minutes. I’m serious.

NICK: Okay… okay…

*Two minutes later*

ME: You calm now?

NICK: Uh-huh. I’m sorry, daddy. Mommy got ahead of me in the game. That’s the problem.

ME: Buddy, it’s just a game.

NICK: But I wanted to win.

ME: I know. But when someone else wins you have to say “Congratulations” and shake their hand. Even win you’re sad you didn’t win.

NICK: I want to tell mommy congratulations.

ME: Good idea. Let’s go downstairs.

NICK: Mommy?

ALLISON: Yes?

NICK: Um…um…congratulations.

ALLISON: Thank you, buddy.

NICK: It’s just that… it’s just that… I was ahead. And then I had to go backwards and you got in front of me. And I played the rules. I played the rules. That’s the problem. I thought if I play by the rules, I would always win.

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