I showed up early to Vincenzo’s sports camp today so I could watch him play. When I walked onto the field I saw him finish a game of soccer, then go over to a tree and start kicking it. As soon as he saw me, he burst into tears. “What’s wrong, honey?” “Mooommm,” he sobbed, “I lost the World Cup!”
Poor guy. He’s so darn competitive we won’t play board games with him because he explodes into raging tears if he so much as draws the wrong color of card in a game of Uno. I can’t even describe what happens when he actually loses a game. We keep the games hidden away. Every once in awhile he remembers them and asks, “Hey Mom, wanna play a game of Candyland?”
I know exactly how pigs feel as they’re being led away to the slaugherhouse.
Sports camp ended today with a game of rainbow tag, where you freeze if you’re tagged. Vincenzo handled it very well when he got tagged. I was impressed! (Of course, it’s not exactly the World Cup…) But then Vincenzo noticed other kids getting tagged and not freezing, and he stood there, frozen, yelling at them with all his might and turning redder and redder and madder and madder, rooted to his place the entire time because while there was nothing in the rules about micromanaging other players, there was a very strict rule about not moving once you’re tagged. My kid. The Dwight Schrute of rainbow tag. Another fit of tears followed by another round of hugs and sports camp ended for the summer.
I wish I could help him. I know enough to avoid signing him up for competitive sports. When he races me to the car or up the stairs I just tell him I’m not competing. When we do play board games I model being a good sport and being a poor sport so he can see the difference. We stress having fun over winning, we celebrate mistakes, we stopped beating him when he came in second place. And still.
Anyway maybe he’ll just grow out of it. It looks like the competition did, being two years older and ten pounds heavier than him…
even if it was just a GIRL.