Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Little Chess

Years ago, William taught me how to play chess. We played a lot, and I learned the basics. I finally stopped playing, though, because I never won. I am not very competative, but when my only experience of chess was losing, it just got a little old. The question was, "Do I feel like losing a game tonight?" rather than, "Do I feel like playing a game tonight?" I realized that I simply had no concept of how to go on the offensive and win. I could only defend until the inevitable end.

Lately, William and the girls have been playing after dinner. He keeps asking me to play too, but until last night I held out. As we played, I experienced anew the fresh experience of Chess with William.

Last night I actually gave him a run for his money. But I was helped immensely by the fact that twice during the game I was clued into his errors by his audible gasp as he realized his mistakes. (Nor did I let him take back the moves...What is chess anyway, but an exploitation of your opponent's errors?) I spent a couple of minutes figuring out what he saw, and for a while I was definately ahead. We played a pretty even game, but he finally did win. We each had a pawn and king on the board. This first photo is what William looked like upon his victory. He actually thought he'd lose, so his joy and delight were even more pronounced. In this next photo, he is showing Madeline (and Abigail, but not fully clothed) exactly what peices were left on the board before his luck turned around. Here are some quotes, "I have never won a game from that far down!" "Ha ha ha ha ha!" "Heh heh heh". I actually wrote them down because it was so over the top. There were others, equally colorful, which I could't capture in time. So, we had some excitement.

It actually ended up being fun, even if I did lose. I might continue for a while, and maybe I'll beat him sometime. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Aging and Growing Up

I've been thinking about aging, and the passing of time, and the kids growing up lately. It started off when I was in Barnes and Noble, and in the background they were playing a Cure song off the "Kiss me, Kiss me" album. That was the theme album of my summer before 9th grade, and it was definately edgy then. So of course I had to reflect on the fact that it is basically Muzak now, and how wierd that I have all these memories built with the Cure as the soundtrack. And, again, I am aware that I must be the target audience for that background music. Just like those Honda Odyssey advertisments. If you do the math, I am exactly the target for those too. And, scarily, I'd like a Honda Odyssey. I'm feeling a little too predictable.

We passed a major milestone this week. I have been addicted to Sam having a number of pacifiers for bedtime. Yes, I know, he's way too old for a pacifier. But I've never taken them away because of my own need for him to have one. So, it was time for both of us to go off cold turkey. I decided to do what the Dollars did with Justin. He was allowed to "buy a toy" with his pacifier. I found a Thomas DVD with Percy engine attached; a very desireable aquisition. Sam was all excited about buying a Thomas video with his pacifiers. We gathered up all the ones we could find, put them in a baggie, and took them down to Hollywood Video. Incidentally, they all know me by first name-I'm there so much-Is it a bad thing? So, the girl behind the counter was happy to play along. Sam handed over the baggie solomnly, and it was over.

The first night he was sad, and cried some. He took Percy engine to bed with him, although it was small consolation for the artificial suckle. But he eventually fell to sleep. Last night was better, and I think tonight will be fine. Incidentally, his very chapped lips are also healing up.

So, we have crossed the potty training milestone, and the pacifier milestone. Just in time for his June 4 year old birthday. Heh Heh. I feel a sense of freedom, as my life slowly becomes less complicated.