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Spiderman War

November 16th, 2008 · 1 Comment · The Joy of Fatherhood

What is “Spiderman War” you may be wondering? Well, I’ll get to that in a minute. And while you’re puzzling about that, you can also wonder why I wanted to lose. Yes, I wanted to lose!

Welcome to the first post in my Joy of Fatherhood series. Last Saturday night, we went to a big 75th birthday celebration for my (step)father-in-law. My mother-in-law did all the planning and preparation. She arranged for a fancy dinner at a fancy adult restaurant, but grandkids (including my six year old daughter and four year old son) were invited. There was to be a four course meal for the adults and a two course meal for the kids. I was a bit skeptical how it would work out, but you know that the first rule of being a good husband is to never question your mother-in-law (all joking aside, I have one of the best mother-in-laws a husband could have, along with an awesome wife).

Anyway, it started at 6pm (which is just 1-1/2hrs before our kids’ bedtime of 7:30) with a one hour appetizers-and-drinks-on-the-patio thing. My kids weren’t fans of the stuffed mushrooms (yum!) but they loved their Shirley Temples. Anyway, we sat down to dinner at 7pm (now 1/2 hour before their usual bedtime) for our second course, a very nice salad (but nothing for the kids yet). My mother-in-law is smart though, and had put a basket of toys and crafts in the middle of the kids’ table. The kids table consisted of our two kids and four other (slightly older) grandkids. It didn’t look like we were off to a good start when my son reached for the basket in the middle and spilled a full glass of water. Still, the kids entertained themselves pretty well until the adults’ dinner came out and the kids’ dinners as well. My son ate a bit, but I could see in his glassy eyes that he was getting tired.

After dinner, the adults (24 of us) kept talking, and my son came over. He was really tired, and I was worried. Anyway, turns out grandma (my mother-in-law) had given him a deck of “Spiderman” Crazy Eights cards (my son is a huge Spiderman fanSpiderman backpack, Spiderman costume, Spiderman shoes, Spiderman undies… – you get the picture). I sat him in my lap and suggested that we play a card game, but then realized that neither he nor I knew how to play Crazy Eights (and I didn’t want to read the instructions and learn). So I suggested a game of War. It turned out to be the perfect card game for playing with my four year old son. To play, you just split the deck in half and each player flips over a card and the high card wins (and the winner takes both cards). You keep doing it until the cards are used up, and then the person with the most cards wins.

From the beginning, my son started winning… and laughing. This was when I started to hope I would keep losing (the only time in my life I think I have done that). Anyway, my son sat in my lap, and we played at least a half a dozen games (“Let’s play Spiderman War again! OK, dad?”). He won every game, and had the time of his life. I did too. I missed out on all the adult conversation that happened, but I will remember those games of “Spiderman War” for a long, long time. Finally, the cake came out (imagine the flames and heat from 75 candles), and we had cake and ice cream and called it a night. My son was asleep within minutes of getting into his carseat for the ride home. There are times that being a dad just plain rocks!


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