Breaking the Rules

Yesterday we played Cootie. It is a game where the player acquires bug body parts as one rolls the corresponding number with dice. You MUST roll a 1 and then a 2 to build your bug body before you may collect other parts to your bug. Sylvia creamed Daddy and Melanie. She had her bug built in record time. Melanie was devastated. She had been rolling and rolling the die and could not get a 2 despite everyone else getting 2’s over and over again. She only had a head, and Sylvia had won! She had no chance.

Daddy swoops in to save the day. He consoles baby girl who is crying because she lost the game. She was trying so hard not to cry. She knew it wasn’t being a good sport, but she couldn’t help herself. She had asked all weekend to play Cootie, and when we finally played, she lost. (These games are horrible because you really have no control over winning, and when you lose, it’s usually not even close.) Daddy says, “Don’t worry, Melanie. We’ll play to see who wins second place.”

Daddy rolls and rolls the numbers he needs and just ignores them, quickly handing Melanie the dice before she notices. He continues to do this over and over again. They get to the point where they are “tied.” Daddy chimes in “Now, whoever gets a 6 first is the winner.” This is because I have glared at him so long that he has no choice but to allow her the possibility of losing. Melanie rolls, and Melanie wins. Well, sort of.

My husband is a lawyer. He is all about the rules. He breaks out the official rules before every game. He will uphold them to the letter no matter the cost, and he never cheats. He says there is no joy in victory by cheating. He is an uncompromising rule monger. Or so I thought. We found his breaking point yesterday: the tears of devastation from his baby girl. He felt a bit guilty about it afterwards, wondering if in some small way he was robbing our daughter of an important life lesson. Then he rationalized that he was “just finding another way to be like Jesus – breaking the rules in mercy for those he loves.” Oh yes, my dear husband is an excellent lawyer.

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2 thoughts on “Breaking the Rules

  1. snowblondie says:

    My husband I have gone the rounds on this subject, I want him to let the kids win when they are little, he wants them to earn their win and feel proud..Our family plays a lot of games so we compromised, we let them win when they are 4 and under~

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