It was the winter of 80′ and my strategy was unfolding as planned. I had conquered all of Africa and was well on my way to doing the same with Europe. Just one or two more victories, I would have the continent, and the war would be decidedly in my favor. Suddenly, I was attacked on both flanks. The Ionians on the West and the Frankites on the East. Even though this was a three way war, both opposing armies were targeting me. Relentlessly, turn after turn, the two of them attacked. Ignoring each other, they focused their hatred and aggression only on me. I was on the brink of defeat. It was then that I did the unthinkable. With my fate determined by the two bullies, I did what any maniacal despot would do. I annihilated the world!
Beginning in Australia, my arm swept quickly through Asia, Europe, Africa, and finally North and South America. When I was done, all of the world’s armies lay spread out on our living room floor!
You’ve probably figured out by now that this story was about losing a game of Risk and my subsequent temper tantrum. Sadly, this really happened. Even now, 40 years later, I’m embarrassed when I think about it.
I’m not particularly competitive now, but when I was younger, I was a terrible sport. I cried when I lost Go Fish. Whined when I had to pay rent in Monopoly, and screamed at the TV when the Cowboys lost.
I was a sore loser.
Have you ever noticed that your kids often take on your most irritating and challenging childhood characteristics? God has such a great sense of humor, doesn’t He? Take for example, my youngest son. the one I call “The Athlete”. He is super competitive and loves to talk smack, but he flips his lid when things don’t go his way during a game. He’s overly emotional, and perhaps just a bit immature. In other words, he’s the spitting image of me when I was his age.
A couple of weeks ago, most of the family sat down to a rousing games of Uno. “The Athlete” had the grave misfortune of being seated between two siblings, who both had several Draw Four cards in their hands. Being siblings, they took great pleasure in hitting him with Draw Four card after Draw Four card, until “The Athlete” flipped his lid, threw his rapidly growing hand onto the table, and ran out of the room screaming.
When he finally returned to the game, I might have teased him a bit, and might have even subtly mocked him. Apparently my passive aggression wasn’t subtle enough. After a couple of warning side glances, More Love Mama went full frontal on me. She gave me…… the look. And then, speaking through gritted teeth, she strongly suggested that I cease and desist.
I was in trouble.
Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda
If I’d been a more mature parent, I would have overlooked his tantrum during the game, and talked to him about his behavior afterwards. It probably would have been a good idea to tell him that I was just like him when I was his age, but eventually grew out of it. He probably would have found comfort in that.
Clearly it was hypocritical of me to give my son a hard time for acting the same way I did when I was his age. But I think I might know why I did it.
I was ashamed of my childish and overly emotional behavior as I kid. It’s most definitely something I didn’t like about myself. I’m sure now, that I projected my self disgust on to him and then punished it. The way I suppose I felt I needed to be punished some 40 years ago.
Clearly, it’s never a good idea to pile on someone when he or she is feeling bad, especially when you are supposed to be the grown up. I should have known better.
We All Have Baggage
The more I think about it, I’m convinced that we all have emotional and behavioral baggage that we carry with us into parenthood. This baggage ends up lying around everywhere, waiting for us to trip over it.
Recently while playing Uno, I tripped over one of my bags.
Which got me to thinking. Where is the next bag, and when is it going to trip me up next?
A Really Exciting Thing!
OK, maybe not super exciting for you, but for me this is a big deal! After 18 months of blogging, I finally have ads! Yay! I am partnering with some companies that my kids and I use, that we believe in, and we are excited to share with other homeschoolers or parents looking for a way to give their kids a little boost. If you click on any of the affiliate ads, a small portion of your purchase will come come back to Daddy Go To Timeout and will help support this blog and my family! Thanks to all of you who decide to make purchases through my blog links!
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