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January 22, 2021

“Mommy, I am so happy to see you. I’ve been playin’ with decks of cards. I made my own decks. I put frogs on them.”  I’m giggling. “I’m thinkin’ I could teach everybody to count using frogs.”

“So you’ve made up a card game with frogs?”

“I did make it and it’s really, really good. I have one frog who is a cartoon frog and he’s really cute. What happens is as you’re playin’ the cards sometimes you got six of ‘em (frogs). When you win the frogs come off the cards.”


“Then you get to play with ‘em and it’s really fun!”

“It sounds like there is some Liponie work in there.”

“Yeah, and the funnest part is you can count ‘em. We’re very smart but I’m not gonna name no names about people who aren’t good at countin’. I found that when there’s frogs in your hand then you can count ‘em. I made sure the frogs have suction cups on their feet so they can stick to your face. They look like big, green boogers.”

“Oh, Charlie . . . “

“They’re miniature you know ‘cause they have to fit on our cards. Some people look like they got some fleckles, but they’re not fleckles at all.” (Maybe Charlie means freckles but I like this new word.)

“So when you’re done with them they have to go back onto the cards?”

“If the person counts correctly then the frogs go back on the cards. Otherwise, they stick on their face awhile.”

“Do you have a name for this frog game?”

“Yeah, it’s called Fleckles. I didn’t wanta call it boogers. Frog + freckles = fleckles. It’s kind of a turn of phrase.”

“Uh-huh. Do all of you play at the same time?”

“Yeah, ‘cause you gotta have a heck of a bunch of cards. The key to the game is if you look at your cards and you find that you can count all of them, then you can lay them down. As you do that you kinda fan them out, Mommy, and when they fan out then all the frogs jump on your face and make the fleckles. Our course, then you get handed a big mirror and then that’s when you count! You have to double check your count ‘cause you knew your count before you laid out all the cards. It’s a very complicated game.”

“Yes, it sounds tricky.” (And I hope I’m not playing it.)

“I feel good about it ‘cause it’s a way for kids to learn.”

“Does each player get a certain number of cards?”

“A lot of kids only take two cards ‘cause they’re just learnin’ how to count. But I can take as many cards as I want ‘cause I can count up to fifty-four! President Kennedy’s been helpin’ me.”


“He tried to do it with cookies, but it didn’t work. It was an absolute failure ‘cause I was eatin’ ‘em. If you have to go back and count, then the count is always wrong.”

I admit that I have that same problem when I make cookies.