Luke's got some Baldauf blood. We are a competitive family. It doesn't matter the contest. Baseball. Trivial Pursuit. Go Fish. Scrabble. Tock. Dallas the board game. Guess Who? Ask Nate about the **only** time he ever played Monopoly with me and my Baldauf family. He'll tell you the truth. We like to win. And more than that, we don't like to lose.
Long after I had finished purchasing Christmas gifts last year, Luke wrote his letter to Santa. The only thing he really wanted was a video game. I (Santa) had not purchased any video games. And while Luke enjoyed his Christmas very much, he mentioned that Santa forgot to bring him his video game.
Thankfully for Luke, Christmas with Uncle Drew and Aunt Nicole happened after the actual Christmas. And Uncle Drew happens to have some ins with Santa. So Uncle Drew and Aunt Nicole totally rocked it out of the park when they showed up with Mario Kart for the Wii and two new steering wheel controllers to drive.
Luke has been doing better with behavior at school these days, and when he has a good week, he is rewarded on the weekend with some Mario Kart time. He loves to play his new video game. He takes it very seriously. He puts his whole body into moving that steering wheel around, often bouncing around an area about 20 square feet as he maneuvers his way around the track.
When you play Mario Kart, the Wii also puts other racers in the race. These are other Mario characters (Luigi, Bowser, Peach, etc) and run by the gaming system. Usually there are 12 carts on the race track. They're typically pretty decent racers.
We weren't quite aware of Luke's love affair with winning (and opposite-of-love-affair with losing) until he lost a race. He was happy and doing well throughout the whole race, but at the very end he lost his lead. Really lost. Like he came in 12th of 12 cars.
And when Luke realized that he had come in dead last, he lost it. LOST IT. MELTDOWN.
One of those moments as a parent when you aren't sure if the emotions are real. Could he truly be this upset over a game? His reaction was so strong and pure that it had to be real. I felt bad that I was taking pictures.
Luke was having a hard time calming down. We asked if he wanted to stop. He asked to race one more race. He sat down with Nate again, holding back his anger and sadness, waiting stoically for the next race to begin. In a minute, he was bouncing out of his seat again, throwing all of his being into steering the cart.
In an instant, the race was over. Luke looked at the finish board. He had come in 11th... one of the other characters had come in 12th.
Success. All was right with the world. He might not have won like he really wanted to... but he didn't come in dead last. And he was okay with that.