I have always loved games. Especially card games. When I would visit my dad as a teenager we would sit around the dining room table and play Skip Bo late into the night with my stepmom and step-grandmother. Lots and lots of laughs were shared around those tables. Looking back now I see it was a way for my dad and stepmom to connect with me and build some type of relationship in very uncertain times.

The only problem with me and games is that I’m super competitive. I want to win. Always. One time David and I were playing a game (I can’t remember which one) with some friends and when I lost I jumped up, yelled no, and fell back into my chair so hard that the chair broke. I still haven’t lived that one down.

Another time we were playing 42 (dominoes) with my mom and her friend. David thought I was being too competitive so he threw the game (jerk). I got so upset at him I threw my last domino at the table and it ricocheted off the table and hit David in the head. I haven’t lived that one down either.

You would think that no one would want to play games with me anymore, but fortunately for me I gave birth to super competitive little girl that loves games just as much as me. I will admit it has been rough. When she first started with Candyland, she would cry every time she didn’t win. Well, cry doesn’t really describe what she did when she would lose. Plus she cheated.

I refused to play with her. I wasn’t going to throw the game just so she could win, and I wasn’t going to listen to her freak out when she lost. David thought was being ridiculous. He played with her and let her win all the time. I thought he was ridiculous. How was she really going to learn how to play if you let her cheat all the time? (And yeah, I totally get how this sounds.)

Now that she is older it has gotten to be a lot more fun to play with her. She understands the strategy of the games, and she’s not such a sore loser. I love to sit across the table from her and see her little face twist up with concentration as she tries to figure out the best move. I even get a little thrill when she makes a particularly brilliant move and blocks me from being able to win.

I never expected that I would enjoy losing, but when she slams that last card down on the table and screams out “Ha!” and I see that beam of joy from the thrill of the win spread across her face I can not ever imagine being more proud. And happy. Just really, really happy. With losing.

being a mom

I’m linking this post with Momalom’s 3 Sprouts Unexpected blog contest sponsored by 3 Sprouts.


  1. My oldest was this way too. And I hated games with her during that time. Now she’s 10 and we’ve started a family game night once a month – it’s been much, much better. And you’re right – it’s so good for the family.
    Missy recently posted…How to Have an Old-Fashioned SummerMy Profile

    • It has gotten to be a lot more fun. I’ll be glad when the little one is a couple years older and we can all play together.

  2. Just another way our children change us. ;)
    Elaine recently posted…AbundanceMy Profile

  3. I’m really competitive too…as is Buddy. I do NOT enjoy playing games with him. He gets so upset when he loses. It’s ridiculous.

    I’m glad you can finally enjoy playing with her.
    Kmama recently posted…Proud Mommy Moments: Drama KingMy Profile

    • She’s gotten much better. We keep telling her “it’s just a game.” I would actually prefer she be more like David than me because I think she’ll have more fun that way.

  4. That’s a great point. I’m competitive too — but with my children, I like it when they win. Even at tic-tac-toe.
    SouthMainMuse recently posted…Someday My Prince Will Come. I think.My Profile

    • I like it when she wins for real. We have played many games of tic-tac-toe with me trying to teach her the strategy. Now that she has it down she beats me or we get stuck every single time. So much better than letting her win.

  5. OMG, I HATE when my kids cheat at card/board games! I NEVER just let them win because I totally agree… how does that help them in the long run? It’s so much better for them to learn how fantastic it is to win by actually winning. It’s more rewarding, more exhilarating. I’m with you! And I’m happy you got the unexpected joy of seeing your daughter win the right way ! Even if it meant you had to lose.

    Thank you for entering our contest! This was a perfect post! :)

    • I spend a lot of time trying to teach her the strategy of the games. I love it when it finally clicks with her… even if that means she beats me.

  6. I HATE games. Board games and card games. Well that is unless it is a game that is part of a GNO and involves gambling and wine…

    I really hate playing games with my children. It is so tedious.

    Usually I leave all the game playing to my mom!

    Who would have thought you would grow up to be such a gracious loser : )

  7. Very sweet story. :) That look of satisfaction on any my kid’s faces after winning a game is just priceless, so I understand. We are UNO players in our house. Thanks for sharing.
    Mom on the Make recently posted…Havanese Dogs are the GreatestMy Profile

  8. My cousin is s a game player. I love to play Canasta and Train(dominoes). I learned from Mickey’s family. His mom was a freaking shark.

    We got out of the habit of playing games, because one of our daughters has preternatural good luck. The rest of us were always playing for second.

    I am glad you wrote this…it made me think. Playing games around the table is such a time of–healing…getting to know…inviting someone in…no agenda but to pass the hours– thing. We need to get back.
    Maggie S. recently posted…Can You Take It?My Profile

  9. Girl, I am miserably competitive like that. It’s bad when we do a teambuilding at the office, too. We go bowling. And I’m not a bowler. But I curse and point and talk smack the whole time.

    And they refuse to let me win.
    Carrie recently posted…My leap to stardom could happen this week. Probably won’t, but it could so shut up.My Profile

  10. Where does the line for super completive at card/board games start?

    When me and my bestie and some other friends get together it’s all about the Victory. We love Phase 10 and UNO Attack (cause hey it throws cards at you)! Y’all would totally fit in in our group.
    Paulette recently posted…Chopped VeggieMy Profile

  11. You just described my daughter! We have to be careful what we play with her because she wants to win so badly. I’m hoping she’s be a better loser…..someday!
    Connie Weiss recently posted…Summer Fun: Belmar Farmers MarketMy Profile

    • Give her a couple of years. That’s what it took for us. That and me just saying I wouldn’t play if she behaved that way.


  1. […] Cady and I have been playing Skip Bo almost every night after dinner. We turn off the TV and I hide my cellphone. It is a pretty great bonding time. […]