One of the great disadvantages of being four years old is that there are only a few games that you can understand or play. When it comes to the four-year-old in our house, and card games, there are only four games that he can play: War, Slapjack, Go Fish, and Crazy Eights. And of these four, only the first two hold any real interest for him.
You can imagine then, how bored we get of these games, and how we cringe slightly whenever we see the Boy pull out the deck of cards. At one point, it seemed like the other two family members had dropped out permanently, and it was just going to be me and the Boy playing these games. But then, something wonderful happens, like it did last night. The Girl comes in and rescues the situation.
Not only does she agree to play (and you can tell sometimes that she isn’t 100% enthusiastic about it, and yet, she says yes), but she plays with the most generous attitude. When she notices that the Boy has fallen behind, she handicaps herself and lets him win. Her hand noticeably slows down in Slapjack, and she winks at me as we watch him happily gather his cards and crow about how much he’s winning.
It’s the most sportsmanslike attitude that I could hope to see in my children, and it makes the game fun again. The best part, of course, is that the Boy doesn’t notice, so for him, he’s always a winner. And that makes her a winner, too.