Winners are grinners

Posted on July 8, 2010


Overall, it hasn’t been the best of days. Marion was eliminated from MasterChef sparking outrage across the nation (or on my sofa anyway). I started the day at the doctor being checked out for a possible blood clot on my lung*. I’ve been short of breath and short of temper, which turned me into the Unfunnest Mum Ever.

But even on days like today, family provides the antidote.

You may have noticed that The Builder and I are in the habit of having ‘little chats’ with our boys about various things (the eating problem for one). Sometimes I worry that we are too serious, but then, I figure, you’ve got to go with what you know and the boys will have more than enough information on, well, everything to make good decisions in later life (you’re allowed to say ‘joist’ here).

So yesterday we found ourselves talking to Mr6 about the importance of being a Good Winner. We’ve already done the Good Loser lecture and, to his credit, he generally takes a loss at Connect 4 or Chess on the chin. But when it comes to wins…

He and The Builder had completed a game of ‘kicks’ and he’d won, reaching 10 before his dad. He came into tell me about it, announcing that he was The Best Kicker In The World, and going on and on about how easy it all was.

So we had The Chat. About the importance of modesty in victory. And how if you don’t make the people you beat feel too bad about themselves they’ll be happy to play again. Blah, blah, blah.

Fast forward to today. I’ve been to the doctor and gone to Mum and Dad’s to collect the boys. I’m a bit anxious about test results, but relieved that I’m doing something about how I’m feeling. When I arrive, Mr6 and his Gran are locked in an intense battle over the Trouble board. I keep walking through to the kitchen, where Dad and I discuss the State of Origin (boo hiss), Parramatta’s potential new coach (boo hiss), and Julia Gillard’s East Timor solution, which prompts some desultory debate.

Our peace is shattered moments later by a voice from the dining room breaking into a loud, raucous version of Queen’s ‘We are The Champions’.

I pop my head in the door. My mother is waving her arms around like a Brazilian soccer player, crowing and singing. Mr6 is looking bewildered.

“I assume you won,” I ask her.

“HA!” she says. Seriously, if her hip wasn’t a bit stiff these days she’d be dancing around the room.

I can’t help but laugh. “I spent several minutes last night explaining to Mr6 the importance of being a good winner,” I splutter. “Modest, self-effacing, you know.”

She stops. “Where’s the fun in that?” She breaks back into song.

Mr6 took the message on board. When he beat her a couple of times at Connect 4, he was quietly pleased, even though he lost the series. But when he whipped her at Guess Who, he was announcing himself The Best Guess Who Player In The World.

Sometimes you’ve got to celebrate the wins.

*PS: I’m fine. False alarm. And I’m celebrating the win with large quantities of M&Ms.



  1. Stacia

    Thank goodness you’re fine! Celebrating your health with huge, unabashed handfuls of M&Ms over here … and a little Queen to shimmy to. =>

  2. Jodie at Mummy Mayhem

    Well, firstly, I’m glad to hear you’re ok. Secondly – isn’t this just the way? You just finish teaching something to your children and your mother/MIL comes in and turns it all around?! Gotta love ’em.

    Anyway – she sounds a fun lady, that’s for sure. 🙂

  3. Michelle

    Glad to hear you are OK. Lol at your Mum! Things like that hapen to me all the time, I do the right thing and explain to my kids and then someone else mucks it all up!!! lmao Mich x

  4. jfb57

    So glad the news is good! Sounds like Mr6 is getting there in the business of competition – bless him!

  5. Our Park Life

    Glad to hear your test results gave you the all clear…

    I love your mum’s victory dance! Guess she didn’t get the “being a gracious winner” chat as a child?

    Thanks for visiting Our Parklife by the way – your comment was very good, gave me a great laugh!

    Gill x

  6. Joli

    I must admit that even though I have taught all my children (they are now all teenagers) the importance of being gracious whether they win or lose on the sporting field and when with friends….. home is totally different and i’m afraid that when I beat them at Uno I do a victory dance. My dance is basically lots of jumping and whooping and lots of oh yeahs!! Of course my dance is met with derision and the next game (there is always a next game) results in them saving up all pick up cards, skip cards for use against me… which of course makes my next victory dance all the sweeter!!! In our family we have never let a child win a game…. they know that when they do win they have done so fair & square. Draughts, Uno, Cheat, Poker whatever – if they win they win – oh and they all do a pretty mean victory dance themselves!!!

  7. Fourth Daughter

    Thanks for visiting me… my mum would always have to tell me about losing rather than winning as I would never win piano competitions… she wrote me a poem in one of my birthday cards when I was about 8, something about ‘if you can’t be a tree be a shrub.. but be the best little shrub you can be’ (wish I could remember it, it sounded a lot better than that!)
    I laughed about the Trouble game but mainly because my sister once gave some kids a cheap, fake game of Trouble and it was called Don’t Get Angry!!!!!

  8. brismod

    Your Mum is a hoot!

  9. Chantelle {fat mum slim}

    Oh poop. I taped Masterchef, and hadn’t seen it yet.

    Will come back and read past the first paragraph when I’ve watched it.

    Eek. I was pushing Marion to win. This is CRAZY!

  10. Victoria @ Hibiscus Bloem

    Sounds like you’re all winners in your house. Great that your results were all fine. I’m all for competitive spirit and raising the roof when win. We’ve even got a little dance going on here!

  11. Tricia Rose

    My kids are grown now, but I used rather to enjoy talking like Marmee…

  12. joanna

    I really love your blog! We moved to Leura nearly two years ago from the Inner West after we had our first baby boy – and I can really relate to the things you write about – very inspiring! Thanks for brightening winter.

  13. MultipleMum

    I can so picture Mum doing that. Tee he. Glad the lungs are okay. We had you with lung cancer from years of passive smoke at lunchtime, so the fact that you are fine is definitely a win for you!

  14. Lucy

    STOP IT! You are spooking me with the lung thing, but more than that, I think we are living parallel lives. My Miss 6 and my Mr nearly 5 had LONG chats today about “he marks not that you won or lost, but how you played the game……” blah blah…..after many rounds and tears and tantrums over Connect 4.

    Bragging is “bad teasing sporting”, according to my “wise” nearly 5 year old…….

  15. Karen Collum

    So glad you got the all clear and there’s nothing serious going on. Health scares are no fun at all. I had to laugh at your mum’s winning antics. Maybe making the most of winning is in his genes?? 🙂

  16. PinkPatentMaryJanes

    Hysterical! {Not your lung, obviously} Hope you’re on the mend x

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