Sunday, October 30, 2005


Saturdays my lovely wife takes my daughter for a parent-tot swim, and my son and I play marbles. It's become an unplanned tradition. He's gotten quite good at it, although this most recent time, I skunked him. Then we finished up the chess game that had been hanging on the wall. In the course of this game, each time I built up a massive advantage against him, I switched sides with him so that he could play the stronger. Then I'd whittle away his advantage and switch again. He had a rook and a king and I only had a king. But through his failure to pay attention, I got his rook and the game ended in a draw. Then we played another game. I told him that he is really playing a lot better these days. He's more of a calm, conscious player. He has finally internalized what the game is about. Now he just needs to learn some chops. I checkmated him. I believe in winning when competing with kids. They get to see good tactics, handle defeat, and observe (I hope) a gracious winner. And I think it models for them that you should always give it your best effort. Then we played "Trouble," a Milton Bradley game. When my lovely wife brought his sister home, my son at first insisted that she could not join in. But when I said that I wouldn't play if she couldn't, he agreed to let her have one of the four colors. Then he let her play two colors while he and I each played one. I won the game. When I went into the kitchen to unload and reload the dishwasher, they were playing a new game by themselves. That's a first, at least with that particular game.
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