“Double purple, I win!”
Dora slides her yellow plastic game piece onto the Candy Castle, laughing with glee while I feign surprise.
“Mommy, let’s play again and then let’s do the sprinkler. Can we do the sprinkler today, Mommy? Please?”
It is six o’clock on a Saturday morning in January, and this is the third Candyland game I’ve lost.
Can we do the sprinkler today?
Can I complete four, thoughtful performance reviews between now and Monday morning? Will our notoriously prickly VP approve of our roadmap proposal? Why isn’t my v-lookup formula working? These questions remain wait listed. First, I must redirect Dora away from the sprinkler idea in a way that bypasses a tantrum. Some of my best strategy work will go forever unrecognized.
Dora sets up the Candyland board for another round.
This time I fantasize about not letting her win, just this one time. Then maybe when I win I’ll flip the board, sending all the little plastic pieces and white cards into the air like confetti.
“Bam!” I’ll say. Then I’ll do a chicken wing end-zone dance, “Who’s stuck in the licorice forest now, huh?”
Dora’s voice jolts me back into the world.
“Go, Mommy. I already went. It’s your turn now. Go.”
In the background, Dan Zanes sings “Catch That Train” to his pint-sized fans:
It’s a topsy turvy world that
We’re all living in today
So let’s take a trip before the
Summer sun has gone astray…
Dora commands, “Mommy, go!”
Irony used to be cool, back when Alanis Morissette was still on my playlist and Dan Zanes was still in The Del Fuegos and I was childless.