“What does everyone want to do today?” Mum asked while carefully folding the washing in piles for each child.
Chaos ensued, when each child, Judy, Matthew and Robert, argued their point without even listening to each other.
“No, that’s not fair, just because there are two boys in the family, doesn’t mean we have to do boy’s stuff.”
“Yeah, right” said Robert “We should all play dressing up and practice putting make up on each other.”
“Actually, I wouldn’t mind doing that.” Matthew had a very sensitive nature.
Finally, Mum called the chaotic meeting to order by clapping her hands together and she suggested a game to decide which child could choose the activity for the day.
The children whined, but couldn’t decide which game to play. More quarrels began, each child suggesting their own game, Judy suggested using a pack of playing cards, highest card wins. Robert wanted to wrestle to be the decision maker, but as he was older and much stronger than everyone else, this was met with derision from all.
Mum continued with her chores, whilst listening to the discussions. The children continued to debate which game they should play in order to make a decision. Mum smiled secretly to herself. Eventually she butted in “What about Rock, Paper, Scissors?”
“Yes” agreed Matthew, “We could all find a rock and decorate it, then cut up a piece of paper, using scissors to make a snowflake.”
“You are a snowflake” retorted Robert.
Mum reprimanded him sharply for being unkind to his brother. “No, rock, paper, scissors is a game you can play to help make the decision. Whoever wins most times becomes the person to decide what to do today.
“But we don’t know how to play it.” Judy grumbled.
“No problem, you all go off into your rooms and find the rules on Google and then come down and play.” The children all disappeared off upstairs, each saying they would be the first one back downstairs.
Mum sighed in relief and started getting lunch ready. By the time the children had re-appeared, the table was laid with sandwiches and fruit juice and yoghurt for them all.
During lunch the topic of discussion was the rules of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
“No, that’s wrong. Rock doesn’t beat paper.” Judy pulled out the printed page from her back pocket. Showing her keen sense of fair play, she read through the rules and made sure that the boys understood them thoroughly.
Everyone helped clear the table and load the dishwasher, then the debate began. “I should go first, as I’m the youngest.” “Don’t be stupid, Matthew, I should go first as I’m the eldest.” Robert puffed out his chest as he spoke trying to appear more manly and authoritative.
“Mum, would you pick two names out of a hat for us?” Judy’s impartial attitude bought the threesome together, agreeing that Mum should select the first two. Paper and pens found, they each wrote their names on a scrap of paper and folded it. “You can use my cowboy hat, if you like.” Offered Matthew, keen to be included in the process.
Mum had disappeared upstairs by the time they were ready to make the selection. The children’s shrieks bought Mum back into the dining room. She was given her instructions by Judy, careful not to let on which slip of paper belonged to whom.
Mum selected Matthew first, greeted with a squeal of delight from him. Next, she pulled out another piece of paper, dramatically pausing for effect, she read out Judy’s name.
So, after running through the rules of play again, Judy and Matthew faced each other, ready for combat. “Put your hand behind your back and on a count of three bring your hand in front of you in the shape of either a rock, a paper or scissors. Judy demonstrated the shapes using her fist to be a rock, a flattened hand to represent paper and two fingers cutting to be the scissors.
Judy won the first round, by using paper to cover Matthew’s rock. Another debate began about how many rounds should be played. “I think best of four would be best.” Robert argued, trying to take authority over the proceedings.
Judy sighed, and as if speaking to a young child, she pointed out that the number of rounds should be an odd number, to avoid a stalemate.
Finally, after even more deliberations, best of five was decided on. The game continued, after four rounds, the score was even. “So, it all depends on this last round then.” Judy recapped.
Judy presented the cutting fingers after a count of three, and Matthew put his hand flat, in the shape of a sheet of paper. “Yay, that means I have to take on the beast now.” Judy playfully punched Robert in his arm.
Sitting opposite each other, staring ruthlessly into each other’s eyes, the next round began. “Paper wraps rock, so it’s one to me.” Judy was delighted to get one over her big brother. The second round went to Robert, and the third too. The fourth round had even more tension, because Judy realised that it could be her last chance. Robert presented scissors, but Judy displayed her fist in a ball. “Rock blunts scissors! So, it’s onto round five.” Judy was ecstatic to get another chance to win.
Matthew shouted upstairs encouraging Mum to come down and watch the deciding round. While the children were waiting for her, they wound each other up, debating who would be the winner.
Eventually Mum arrived, looking a little sleepy and her hair all tousled. “One, two, three.” counted all the children in unison.
Robert’s flat hand was out in front of him, but an overjoyed Judy was snipping with her imaginary scissors all over his palm.
“Stupid game anyway, I didn’t even try.” Robert sulked. “Well done, Judy.” Matthew hugged her gleefully.
“So, Mum, I won, so I can decide where to go today.”
“It’s a bit late for that, darling. It’s nearly five, Dad will be home in half an hour expecting his dinner. So best lay the table and wash your hands. Never mind, at least you have enjoyed your day. I definitely enjoyed my little snooze this afternoon. I had at least 43 winks.”