The Puny Pundit

Musings of a big guy with small thoughts.

In It To Win

A few weeks ago I took my family on a trip to Vegas for vacation.  I am sure some of you have opinions and questions about taking kids to sin city.  Actually, Vegas has a lot for families.  You just have to be careful and creative at night.  One day we went to the Excalibur hotel where they had carnival games and an old school arcade.  It is really run down but we figured the kids wouldn’t care.

We pulled out $80 from our bank account and figured that would last us all afternoon.  WRONG!  After an hour the kids blew through countless games very quickly.  During this activity time my wife noticed something interesting.  All the kids except #1 picked games to play based on the prizes they offered. Regardless of what the game was, they just focused on the prize.  For instance, my son saw that one booth was giving out electric guitars.  It’s the game where there are hundreds of wine bottles and you toss rings trying to get it on the neck of the bottle.  As most of you know that game is impossible.  I paid the guy $5 for 72 rings.  My son was done after 60 seconds.  He tossed them like ninja stars.  It was kind of funny.  He almost hit the guy manning the booth a few times.  He wanted to play again because of the prize.

#1 is totally different.  She only played games she could win.  She never paid attention to the prizes.  She carefully walked around the carnival games and discerned which ones she had a legitimate shot at winning.  This observation reveals two things about #1.  First, she is incredibly competitive.  She only plays to win.  For the other kids playing is most of the fun.  Not for #1.  It is not fun unless you are winning.  She gets this from me.  I have the same mentality.  In it to win.

The second thing this reveals about #1 is that she is very logical, having a strong ability to connect the dots.  You see for #1 it is totally ridiculous to play a game where you walk away with nothing.  That makes no sense to her.  After my son chucked 144 rings he still wanted to play more.  #1 thought that game was a waste of money because she realized very quickly that the ring toss game was impossible to win.

I remember when #1 was learning how to talk (between 1.5 and 2 years of age), she would often whisper words she was trying to say.  I thought that was so strange until my wife pointed out that she was doing that because #1 didn’t like saying anything out loud unless she felt she could do it right.  She would practice speaking words under her breath until she was able to perfect it and speak well enough to be understood.  It was amazing to me that even at a young age she had a philosophy that anything worth doing was worth doing well.

#1 gets her competitiveness from me.  She gets her ability to connect dots from her mom.  You would think after having five kids it would be normal and common sense that kids are like their parents.  However it never ceases to amaze me how our kids take on our attributes.  That reality is both scary and beautiful.


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