Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Fun Fact

Bittyman now plays chess.

I'm not talking 'play' as in goof around with the pieces making them do battle. I'm talking pawns move up one or two on their opening move and capture diagonally.

Last summer he became obsessed with a glass chess board in the lobby of our Mammoth Lakes hotel. Every night we 'pretended' to play chess before retiring to our room. But buying him a chess set for Christmas seemed a bit silly - he's only 3, right?

For Valentines Day Great Aunt Sharon was kind enough to include several dollars in his card. So after using one dollar to light a candle after Mass (his decision, not mine), we headed to K-mart to pick out a new toy. He immediately found an inexpensive plastic chess set that fit his budget perfectly.

That evening I heard Daddy and Bitty up in his bedroom discussing how to play the game. As I was enjoying some Mommy-must-see-TV stored on Tivo, I didn't give it much thought.

The next afternoon Bitty asked to play a game of chess. After setting up all the pieces I began to explain how the pawns worked, figuring we'd work on one piece at a time in hopes of learning the intricacies within a few months.

Bitty rolled his eyes and sighed, 'I KNOW Mom! I know them all.'

He then proceeded to explain what each piece was, how it moved and how it got the other pieces.

"The horse moves like an L. The queen is the most powerful. The bishop moves diagonally. The castle moves forward or to the side. You have to capture the king to win. I KNOW all that!"

Sure enough, he did. At first he was only interested in capturing my pieces. Be he quickly realized that for every move there was a counter-move by his opponent and he started thinking ahead one move before making his own.

Humbling to know your preschooler is more intelligent than you are and it's just a matter of time before he figures that out!

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