“Let’s play that if you finish your dinner first then you win and if I finish my dinner first then I win,” The Mayor said to me.
“Okay,” I said smugly, knowing I would win.
[Look kid, I’ve been inhaling my food since the day you were born!]
I tried to eat slowly to let him win, but there is no pace as slow as a toddler eating and, as I knew I would, I finished first.
When I showed The Mayor my clean plate he instantly went from sunny to thunderstorms and yelled,
“YOU CAN NEVER PLAY THIS GAME WITH ME EVER EVER AGAIN!”
“You don’t like to lose do you Mayor?” I said calmly.
“NO! NO! NO!” he yelled.
K smirked and made a face that mocked me.
I don’t like to lose either. Not. At. all.
[K and I had to give up playing the game formerly known as Scrabble (now known as DIVORCE) because of this.]
I thought about how much I hate to lose as I sat with the kids while they finished dinner.
I pondered whether or not my deep aversion to failing kept me from taking important risks.
Is there some magically fulfilling career or life path that I have never pursued for fear of failure?
While nothing jumped to the fore, it seemed like a possibility.
After dinner, The Mayor, The Rooster and I got out the coloring books and I noticed that I was coloring in a completely predictable way.
Winnie the Pooh’s shirt was red, his body was golden and everything was perfectly within the lines.
Still thinking about how much I hate to lose and noticing what a rigid rule follower I was, I decided to conduct an Experiment in Chaos.
I chose a section of my coloring book picture, closed my eyes, picked a crayon at random and forced myself to color that section with the chosen color.
Following this method, Pooh’s shirt became blue and his body, orange.
I began coloring Eyore’s body a bright, sea-green blue.
“What are you doing?” The Mayor asked in accusation. “Eyore is gray and white.”
“Well Mayor, I thought I might try using different colors. I’m taking a leap of faith and hoping that something great will happen… or that nothing at all will happen. Either way, I think I’d learn something from that.”
He narrowed his eyes at me.
He shifted from foot to foot.
He looked at the garishly blue Eyore again.
“Please, please, please color the rest of him gray, Mama!”
“I don’t know, Mayor…”
“Mama, Mama, I know, let’s trade coloring books..”
It was close to bed time and I didn’t feel like fighting, so I traded.
The Mayor chose all the right colors and finished the picture staying within all the lines.
Ah, what unfortunate DNA he inherited.