Sunday, March 15, 2009

Good Sportsmanship

Pinewood Derby time! All that hard work turning blocks of wood into sleek racing machines pays off as the boys race in the district derby! Barley won first place in his rank--very exciting!

It was a tense minute when they announced the first place winner. We already knew his average score was faster than the 2nd and 3rd place finishers they had just announced. But we had this same exact experience last year, and we turned to Barley and signaled to him to get ready--he was going to win! A quick reminder to be a gracious winner, not brag or do any big display as he went to claim his trophy...and then they named another boy, whose time was also slower than Barley's average!

He was crestfallen, and DH and I were mystified. We went to check out the computer score after, and tried really hard not to look like awful parents who can't handle their kid losing. Turned out that there had been a scoring error, and one of Barley's finish times had not registered. The computer assigned a default time of 5 minutes instead. All the cars were finishing at under 3 minutes, so this one incorrect score pulled his average out of whack. Very upsetting at the time. So, it was especially sweet to bring home the trophy this year.

Meanwhile, Teddy made us very proud by being a good sport when he did not place. The race sponsors unexpectedly grouped all the 4th and 5th and 6th graders together, instead of ranking them separately. Near as we could tell, the older boys took all the prizes. Not that we believe Teddy would have placed anyway--there were a lot of fast cars at the upper levels.

Anyway, despite this wrinkle, Teddy kept quiet, expressing his frustration only to us in the car after. We told Teddy how proud we were of him that he was able to be handle this upset in a mature way. Then we reminded him he is going to a friend's birthday party this afternoon anyway, where they will be playing laser tag. Life is good on balance overall.

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