It all started when I decided to introduce my two boys to the game of Slap Jack. They loved it. The game was a huge success, and therefore I was feeling like a pretty huge success myself.
We played a few games before bed that first night together. And all was well. But then the next day JJ went to school, and it was just me, The Cam, and our decks of cards. All morning long all I heard was this, "Pleeeeeeease can we play Slap Jack now?" "Please, please, please?" "Now are you done feeding the baby?" "Now are you done eating breakfast?" "Now are you done going pee?"
Finally, after what seemed like forever to him but was in reality a mere five minutes of me trying to accomplish normal bodily functions, we sat down to play Slap Jack.
And we played, and we played, and we played.
And I think that each time we played, the Cam's love for the Jacks continued to grow. More specifically, and for no logical reason at all, he fell in love with the Jack of Spades.
I finally decided it was time to put the game of Slap Jack on hold so we could move on with our lives for a little while. So I started gathering up the cards, and that's when things really went south.
See we only have ONE deck of cards that has a full and complete set. The one we were playing with. We have about twenty other decks of cards that are missing four, or five, or ten individual cards. So I thought it made sense to put this rare complete deck fully away for safe keeping.
I didn't know that the Jack and the Cam had other ideas in mind.
The Cam began begging, begging, begging for me to let him keep his Jack out of the deck.
In hindsight, I feel like I should have just said yes. But you know what they say about hindsight. It sucks.
So I didn't say yes. I said no. I said I wanted to keep all the cards together so they wouldn't get lost. I basically sealed my own fate for the next two hours.
Cam tried everything he could think of to get me to change my mind.
And I tried everything I could think of to reason with him.
"The Jack needs to stay with his cards or he'll be lonely."
"The Jack needs to take a nap."
"The Jack is hungry and it's time for him to be eat. You don't want the Jack to starve do you?"
But the Cam wasn't buying any of that crap.
And he was putting up some really good arguments himself,
"The Jack (sob, sniffle) only needs MEEEEEE!"
"A Jack never (hiccup, sniffle), sleeps."
"Jacks don't eat. They're paper."
So after about forty minutes of my useless lies and listening to Cam cry and beg for the Jack back, I tried another route.
I pulled down the thousands of other cards and started pulling out Jack after Jack. Maybe he could play with one of those, right?
They were all dead to him. He wanted nothing to do with them. They were worthless, worthless pieces of paper with no meaning or of any use to him. He refused them.
He had been begging, crying, and following me around the house whining about the Jack for over an hour.
So I did what any mother would do.
I threatened to throw the cards in the trash.
I pretended to throw the cards in the trash.
I put him in time out.
I threatened never to play Slap Jack with him again.
I tried to distract him with another game.
I gave him food.
I let him watch TV.
It was all to no avail. The endless whining and crying and near hysterics over the Jack would not be appeased.
So in the end, I was beaten. Actually, it was more like I was massacred. I never stood a chance against the Cam and that Jack. I gave him the dumb card and sent him on his merry way.
BUT. I did sneak into the Cam's room that night as he was sleeping. I carefully pried the Jack out of his chubby little fingers and put it back with its deck. Then I put the cards away on the top of a shelf where they may never see the light of day again.
So who really got the last laugh?