Thursday, May 01, 2008

My 9 year old son has been obsessed with card tricks for the past few months. He's getting pretty good at it, after endless hours on utoobe watching videos of card tricks tutorials and a certain david blaine. He's also become a bit of a playing cards connoisseur; even HK$28 Ramblers cards are not good enough now. He wants the best kind - the kind that 'all the magicians use' - Bicycle cards. We can't find them anywhere in Hong Kong (not that we've looked particularly hard, Commercial Press and the no name stationary store in the nearby housing estate shopping center was as far as we'd ventured ). So we ordered them from the States for him.

The first two decks were Christmas presents, and once he's handled these, he's addicted. And these are incredibly beautiful objects to look at and to hold in your hands. The details are impeccable and the quality of the cards are way superior to your run of the mill cards.

Anyhow, a couple of weeks ago I ordered another four decks - two for each boy - two of the are supposedly limited editions of an older design which used to fetch for hundreds of US dollars on eBay.

But then for reasons I cannot properly recall, he pissed us off real bad one evening and we decided that he's not going to get the cards unless his overall performance improves.

We've been lecturing him, long and winding, one parent after the other, for YEARS now, over the kind of things that parents nag their 9 year old child about. In hindsight, those countless hours of bombardment must have forced him to tune us out completely. And who could blame him?

Anyhow, the cards arrived a couple of days ago. At first we hid them, then it became apparent that they were somewhere in our bedroom. Then he started:

Please, can I just have a look? I just want to see that they are here.

You just have to believe me, they are certainly here. It's just that you will see them only when you get your act together.

But I can't think about anything else! It's driving me crazy! Those cards are all I can think about!

What difference does it make that you see them now? I won't let you open them or keep them in your room anyway.

Oh please, seeing them with my eyes will give me a sense of security. Please, I PROMISE I won't ask to open them or to keep them in my room.


Pleeeeeeeeeease..... I won't be able to sleep, I don't think I could eat either....

.....alright then. Wait here.

And so, like a complete and utter fool, I showed him the cards. He did as promised, looked at them, gleamed, recited the 200 word description of the decks as seen on the company's website, rambled on for another few minutes or so, then said 'okay, thank you. I will go away and you can put them away now.' Good Good.

Five hours later, 1 am, me downing the last of the wine. He emerged from his room, eyes red and looking miserable.

What's up? Need some water?

No... I think I'm depressed.

Depressed? Why's that?

The thought of the cards being in your room and not being able to play with them... It is driving me insane.

Insane? Not depressed? Make your mind up please.

I think I will never be able to see them, I will never be able to do the things you want me to do so that I can have them.

(By now he has entered a mild sobbing state)

Why would you think that?

Because... because... I can't remember what it is that you want me to do.....

But, HONESTLY, we talked about this for hours! Over days! Weeks! Months! How can you not remember!?

I am too depressed to think.

Surely something must have registered? Remember? Showing initiative? Your eye thing? Your duvet on the floor? Acknowledging people who speak to you?

I don't think I can ever do any of those things!!!I am going to die before ever seeing those cards! I'm going to throw myself out of the window!!! Wuwuwuwuwuwuwu~~~~~

He's positively howling by this point.

Anyhow, to cut a long story short, being a parent does require incredible self-restraint. It forces you to become a nicer person. Really.


Eh-choo mui mui. said...

Your kids are hilarious. Your 9-year old is also an utter genius. He should go into negotiations.

Gweipo said...

omg. what a glimpse of the future for me. mine is only 5 but I can see a pattern emerging already!

at least our kids would have more to say for themselves than your grad student? n'est pas?

Pierre said...

kids are certainly more entertaining and mind-engaging than tv sometimes!