Since my girl has been sick with me the past three days I've really had a good chance to probe her mind. Yesterday she surprised the hell out of by dissecting a Mickey Mouse television show that was a retelling of Alice in Wonderlandusing different characters and some slightly different situations. She ran through it for me, without knowing the title, pointing out how it related to the Alice story. I thought she was making it up until I started to watch it and realized she was right. Then I used the cable remote to get the title of the show, which we turned on halfway into it. She was a hundred percent on target. It actually gave me chills. She's five, and here she was pulling apart this Mickey Mouse tale the same way I pull apart Kill Bill. She was telling me which characters were being substituted for Alice characters and so on.
I was speechless. Just chills. And then she topped it.
"You know," she said, "they're just playing this to get people to see the new Alice in Wonderland movie."
And then there was today. What happened made me see that come the teen years I have to keep one eye open at all times.
My daughter, who was still with fever, felt well enough to play Monopoly (the Marvel Superheroes version). We had played yesterday, but she quit part way through. I agreed to play again and told her we needed to play for something. I told her if I won, I wanted a kiss (my standard bet). She, grabbing a page out of Sitcom 101, told me that if she won she wanted me to be her butler for a month.
Two and a half hours later I have seven dollars, three lots of property that aren't mortgaged and only one lot with a few newstands (the equivalent of houses). My daughter had all the hundred dollar bills in the game, a small stack of 500s, many lots, many newstands, and a few comic book stores (the equivalent of hotels). I was screwed. And the whole time she kept saying, "I really want a butler. I'm going to make you do everything."
How did this happen?
I started out the game doing a mad grab for property. That's how I play. I try to make sure nobody can develop the land. She skipped purchasing a lot of stuff, focusing only on a few different lots. As I started to get two of a certain color, she would land on the property I needed and would pass on it, saying, "I don't need it now." I couldn't buy it because I did not have enough cash. She realized I wasn't a threat early on. And when I had to sell back my two color properties, she would pick them up as soon as she landed on them.
She methodically, whether she was aware of it or not (and I believe she was), destroyed me. She didn't set me up for failure (I did that). But she saw what was happening and took advantage of it. She was going to win, and she knew it. I was barely hanging on. Another two trips around the board and I was history.
And then she gave up. She had to forfeit. It was a long game, so I don't blame her. I have to admit I was relieved, too, because I would've acted as her butler (a bet is a bet). Not that I'm not her butler now, but knowing her I'd have to walk around with a dish towel over my arm and brush her teeth for her or something.
The teen years have the possibility of being brutal. I have a smart child who is intuitive, too. If she uses her abilities for "evil," I'll be done. She's got me wrapped around her finger already, but I think at that point I'll be hoping for the day where I'm just a butler.