Friday, October 11, 2013

Comparing Cards, Brains

Am enjoying a quick vacation for a couple of days, spending time at the beach with family including my four-year old nephew. We arrived yesterday, and after discovering a pack of cards at the place we’re staying I had an idea to create a card game for the two of us to play.

I removed the face cards and aces, then dealt the rest of the deck to the two of us. We then would take one card off the top of our respective decks and turn it over, and whoever had the highest-ranking card would win and claim both cards. Basically we were playing “War,” although with a smaller deck and without the “battles” that would come if we both turned over equal-ranking cards (in which case we just kept our cards and moved on).

Soon, though, he wanted to include the face cards and aces, too, which we did, and he quickly figured how they rank, too. Then he had an idea that he would start with all of the black cards and I would start with the red ones, which of course meant we’d each be starting with equally-strong sets of cards as he had all of the clubs and spades and I had the hearts and diamonds.

We’d run through all 26 “hands,” then he showed me how high he can count by counting out how many he had when we were done. Woke up this morning and he had already found the deck and was asking me to play again. I think before the trip is done I’ll teach him “War” proper, as it’s obvious he’ll be up for it.

He’s pretty quick. He brought a trove of other toys and games with him, including this pretty cool learning game that involves answering all sorts of questions about the body and all its systems.

One question arose regarding which was bigger, the heart or the brain. He asked me and I said I thought the brain was bigger.

He had a studied look for a moment, and I thought perhaps he was looking behind me at something. Then he spoke.

“Maybe your brain,” he said.

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