Stacking the Deck, Redux

L and I are playing Candy Land. It’s a dry, boring game, to be honest, but I’m not doing it for my own entertainment: that comes from watching her.

Still, I’ve been trying lately to make it a learning experience, as a way to help her deal with her frustration. It’s a simple premise: stack the deck occasionally, placing the Candy Cane Forest card for the next drawing when she’s seventy-five percent complete.

“Oh, rats!” she declares, retreating almost to the beginning of the game board.

I try to make it a little more frustrating, dropping the ice cream cone card into place for my next drawing. Will she get frustrated that she “obviously” has no chance to win? Will she want to stop? Will she complain?

No — nothing but a laugh.

There’s only one thing left to do: make sure she gets a few doubles to catch up — not win, but catch up.

The game takes longer than it would have if we’d just drawn and let chance decide the winner. But the girl has uncanny luck and wins more often than not. A loss or two does the spirit good.

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