Ryan went bowling for the first time a few weeks ago and she really liked it. So the Saturday before last, when my niece spent the night, my mom and I took them back to the bowling alley for the afternoon. We bowled two games, both of which I won. That did not make Ryan happy.
My daughter doesn’t like to lose (and by ‘doesn’t like’ I mean ‘hates it with every fiber of her being’). She’s a very sore loser, which I hate. So, since I think she needs practice at it, I make sure I never let her win. If she beats me at anything, it’s because she's better or luckier than I am. Unfortunately for her, that doesn’t happen very often. Unfortunately for everyone else, she inherited her dad’s ‘When Daddy (or Ryan) ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’ gene. And I seriously hate that.
Ryan wanted to go bowling again on my birthday. I said I’d take her but I made sure she understood that if I saw any bad attitude, there would be repercussions (and by ‘repercussions’ I mean ‘punishment’). She said she got it.
I won both games again, both by fairly large margins (which doesn’t mean much when you’re bowling with a 9-year-old who’s only been twice before). Although I could see the attitude simmering just under the surface, she kept it in check and went out of her way to sound bright and unaffected. Then we got in the car and the following conversation took place...
Ry: Did Grandma used to bowl at this bowling alley?
Me: Yup. She and Grandpa bowled on a league when I was in high school. Why?
Ry: I think I know what happened.
Me: What do you mean?
Ry: I think they kept good records and they knew who Grandma’s kids were. And when they saw you come in, they planted a microchip in your ball. That way, when you rolled it down the lane, they could use a remote control to straighten it out when you were about to go in the gutter. That’s how you always win.
Me: Ummm… Ry?
Me: You do realize this is the Pigsknuckle bowling alley and not NASA, right?
Ry: Well, it works for me.
My kid hates to lose that much. She can more easily believe that the bowling alley is using alien technology to keep her from winning than she can believe she just might not be good enough to win. Lordy.
And I obviously need to talk to the guys in charge of that remote control... 'cause I’d really like to bowl higher than a 124.