Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mothering is a lot like playing chess

Bianca's getting ready for a chess tournament. She loves these things. She's still learning, but she has fun. And everyone gets a medal no matter where they finish, so Bianca loves to go so she has another medal to hang on the post of her bed. However, Bianca hadn't been going to chess club at school (which happens on Mondays and Wednesdays at lunch recess) because she'd rather play with friends. So I said, "No chess club, no tournament." However, I told her I'd still sign her up IF she played chess with either me or dad every night until the tournament. She agreed. After all, she received a marble chess set (straight from Eric's last trip to India) for Christmas and she likes to try it out a bit. So after doing multiplication flash cards and reading a chapter from Phantom of the Opera, we play chess (if Eric's not home from work) by the fire.

I'm a beginner. Bianca taught me how to play, and I admit that I'm not good. I'm still learning how to strategize and how to correctly use my pieces. And I'm overly aggressive (probably because I like to get the game over with so I can sit back and relax for the night). That's my time. Anyway, I've only won once. Bianca usually beats me. And Eric totally crushes me. But I'm a good sport (usually) and again, I'm still learning.

It's also no secret that I'm struggling with getting Portia to sleep at night. She's done with napping. And when I put her to bed, she just comes right out of her room. She has lost most every toy she's owned at least once (including dress-ups, all her Care Bears, her coveted Angelina Ballerina dolls, you get the point).

As usual, I put Portia to bed before Bianca and I started our chess game tonight. Out comes Portia. Once. Twice. Thrice (there goes the bluebird night light). Four times, five times, six times. I hate to spank, but. . . Seven, eight. And now here I finally go in to Portia's room, lay her in bed for the ninth time, and say, "The next time you get out of bed, you lose all your Angelina Ballerinas (which is only four of them as she's already had most of them taken away and can only earn one back per night). And that was it. I haven't heard a peep from her room since. I had my pawn in position to take out her king all along, and yet I didn't know how and when to use it. It would have been so much nicer had I said that the first time--then no spank, no dark room, no frustration.

I admit it: I'm still learning--at mothering and at chess.


Christie Gardiner said...

Love it.

rubberbandgirl said...

Great post.
Stickers the next morning worked for Bryce.

rachel said...

This is my favorite post.