When it all gets rather competitive.

Who’d have thought that I would have raised competitive children?  It’s not like I turn everything into a competition or anything. Oh.

Anyway.  It’s all got rather competitive at my house recently.

I am pleased in some ways, after all, I encourage The Beast to be competitive.  I don’t believe in all that “it’s not the winning it’s the taking part” malarkey.  I’m sorry.  If you lose you lose.  I’m not saying you’re a failure (well, not always), but that’s life and you’ve got to try harder next time after all there’s no room for losers in this house suck it and move on.

However, when climbing up the stairs turns into a full on brawl the competitive side of my children begins to grate a little bit.

Climbing the stairs?! I hear you ask. YES. Climbing the stairs – AKA Stair Racing.  And we have a lot of them.  Stair Racing, is not just climbing, it’s descending down them too.  The Beast likes to win.  In the evening, when we’ve had our tea or supper and we head up the stairs to the lounge or the bedrooms, if he thinks he’s not going to make it to the top first he shouts and climbs at a super fast pace.  In the morning, when we’re going down for breakfast, he has to make it to the bottom first.  This can get a little tiresome.

But that’s not actually the main problem these days.  In fact, I look back on those days almost wistfully.  No.  The problem is now that Fatso is also competitive when it comes to stair racing.  So now, every day, they race to the top.  I try and make it fair so they both understand the winning and the losing thing.  After all, Fatty has a distinct extra 2kg disadvantage under his belt, without the coordination of a 4 year old.

However, they are both sore losers.  Again.  Nothing to do with me.

With The Beast, I can reason with him,  I think I’ve won him ’round.  Made him want to try harder but understand you can’t always win.  Also, I’m not sure it’s always the best way, but I encourage him every now and then to let Fatty win – to give him the chance of winning with the ironic explanation of “because he’s littler then you are”.  Explaining this to Fatty isn’t as simple.

Last night as I followed them up the stairs, Fatty had made it to the final two steps, but The Beast was speeding up on the inside, he made it level with Fatty, and I saw him try and sneak round.  Fair play I thought, Tortoise and Hair situation and all that.  However Fatty also felt his presence, and in true breaking the F1 rules style, he weaved.  He cut him off.  Well, with slightly less finesse.  What actually happened is that he pressed him against the wall of the stairs, squeezing him so he couldn’t get past.

However, in doing this, he was also unable to move.  His balance wasn’t evenly spread (well how can it be with that much weight on your thighs?) and if he jumped forward he would most likely to fall backwards.  After a few moments of laughing deliberating I broke it up.  Removed Fatty’s arm, and this resulted in an indignant slightly squished nearly four year old making it to the top first and winning.

To be fair, he wasn’t a smug winner this time, he was too busy looking at his injury (a slight red mark).  Fatty however did not take the sudden loss of first place well.  He threw himself at the top of the stairs and howled, kicked and screamed, before hunting down his competitor and pressing him against the tv cabinet and giving his ear a quick lick.

A coincidence?  No.  Sadly not.  The previous day going down the stairs for breakfast has resulted in a similar display of tantruming – I’d carried him down as he can’t be trusted, but stopped to talk to Matthew and The Beast snuck past.  Fatty hurled himself forward, causing me to nearly drop him, then shouted at him and kicked the door.  YES. He kicked the door.

Who gets dressed fastest, people getting dinner in front of them first, getting in the car second, or racing robots coming last have all resulted in foot stomping, face licking, throwing himself onto the sofa and shouting outbursts.

I do find it funny.  I do laugh a lot.  I am also scared.  After all, I’ve created this monster.  He’s a bigger version of me.

Pass the gin.


  1. Jenny

    we have a somewhat competitive household too – although we spend much time engineering it so that the Cheetah Keeper actually does what we want him to do! Add the competitive element and we’re on track to actually getting out the door. Until he turns round and says “today, it’s NOT a race” and refuses point blank. Keep the ethos there, it may be of use later on!

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