>Playing the game

>The other evening, my nephew challenged me to a game of Memory.

Part of playing Memory with him is having to turn off my natural competitive tendency and help realize that the game is supposed to be fun for him and that we’re working to help improve his memory skills. I doubt having Uncle Michael dance around singing, “I won, I won” as he cries is exactly the kind of memory we want to encourage.

But then again, I do have some pride and don’t want him to wipe the floor with me. So, I’ve learned ways to encourage him and to reinforce the skills he’s learning in the game.

Which is fine unless you’re playing against both he and his sister. My niece is two years older and very good at the game. My nephew and I were about halfway into a game and he was out to a comfortable lead on matched sets of cards. Then, my niece wanted to join and her brother didn’t object. (Which is no small thing).

Now, my strategy had to be a bit different. Actually, a lot different. I had to find a way for them both to beat me and for them to come out fairly evenly. Otherwise, if one or the other wins by too large a margin, we have hurt feelings and crying. To paraphrase the famous line, “There’s no crying in Memory.”

My saving grace was that my niece had started the contest later, so when she had fewer sets than her brother, she accepted that explanation. And luckily as she was challenging for a rematch, it was time to go home and go to bed.

So, dodge a bullet this time. Now as for next time….

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