Key to Cooperation: chapter 1

Peanut Butter Onesies


“One hundred and thirty four, one hundred and thirty five – MY TURN!” yelled Barry in the backyard right next to the trampoline. Harry jumped off the trampoline with an ungraceful flounce, annoyed that Barry had counted to 135 so quickly! “You wanna shoot hoops?” she yelled at Larry, who was singing loudly and happily squelching through the mud in her knee high gumboots. “I’m not allowed to shoot anything”, said Larry. However she stopped squelching and tried to grab the basketball from Harry. “I wanna play too shouted Barry,” interrupting her backflips and joining in the hoop shooting melee. Harry and Larry pushed and pulled the ball between them, neither of them wanting to let go. Backwards and forwards went the ball as they shouted at each other. “I wanna be first!” “No I wanna be first!”

Harry, being taller and stronger, won the little battle of the ball and ordered her sisters to line up behind her. “These are the rules”, she shouted over the protests coming from Larry and Barry, who were pushing and shoving each other to be second.

“WAARRGGHHH!” screamed Barry and aimed a kick at Larry, just above the gum boot line.

“OWWW”, yelled Larry and pushed Barry right into the mud puddle!

“Just get in line will you”, shouted Harry who proceeded to give them the rules of the game. “If you miss the hoop, you move out of the line, if the next person misses you get to come back, if not then you’re out”, she said.

Just then there was a shout from the house. “Time to get ready!” Mrs Arry appeared at the kitchen window, peering out at her squabbling children and frowning. “Right, its 8 o’clock and you need to come in and get ready for school!”. Mrs Arry thought to herself – ‘these girls really need to learn how to get along, instead of arguing all the time! I wish there was a chapter on that in the Parenting 101 manual’.

Harry, Larry and Barry dropped the basketball, threw off their muddy boots and raced to the back door. Pushing and shoving, trying to get their first and be first to get in!


“Move it”!

“Get out of my way”.

All three shouted at each other, as they raced to their bedrooms. Their dressup costumes were laid out on their beds, just as they had ordered. Mrs Arry had worked half way through the night at her sewing machine to finish the outfits.

She had chosen salmon pink flannel backed stretchy cotton for the Lobster onesie, just like Harry wanted. She was especially pleased with the salmon pink satin lobster tail that she had attached carefully by hand. The tail was stuffed with cotton wool and hung realistically from the bottom of the onesie. The long zipper, right down the front of the lobster onesie was ideal for easy dressing and she knew that the stretch fabric would be just right for her teenage daughter. Avoid embarrassment at all costs!

Mrs Arry had selected blue stretch denim for the overalls for her middle child, Larry. A bright yellow shirt in soft cotton and a builder’s leather belt completed this Bob the Builder costume. Larry literally planned to be a cement truck driver when she was grown and she was fond of dressing as a boy. The Bob the Builder onesie would suit her tomboy daughter very well.

For her youngest child, Mrs Arry had chosen multi coloured polka dot stretch cotton with a yellow background and huge frills at neck and wrists; a girlified clown onesie would be just right for Barry. A bright orange fluffy clown wig had been purchased to complement the outfit.

Harry, Larry and Barry took off their pyjamas, threw them on the floor, as usual and put on their ‘costumes’. There was a brief moment of silence in the house, as each girl admired themselves in the full length mirrors. Then the silence was broken with a shout from Barry.

“I’m hungry”, Barry yelled.

“Let’s make some toast”, said Larry.

“I’ll do the buttering,” said Harry.

“No wait, I wanna do my own buttering thank you,” said Larry.

Barry raced to the pantry, got out the bread and placed the slices in the toaster. “I wanna make my own toast”, she yelled.

“I am the eldest, I will be in charge,” said Harry.

Larry reached for the peanut butter jar, scooped out a spoonful of the creamy, gooey peanut butter and ate it straight off the spoon. “Don’t lick the spoon”, shouted Harry. She grabbed the peanut butter jar and the spoon and held them close to prevent the others getting at them. The toast popped loudly and the tasty smell wafted to their nostrils making them hungrier than ever. Pandemonium broke out as the toast buttering fight ensued. Butter and crumbs were flying about as they each reached for the butter, peanut butter and a knife all at once. Pushing and shoving, and pulling at each other, they were very quickly all covered in crumbs, butter and peanut butter adorned their onesies in little blobs. Peanut butter was stuck in great globs in Barry’s orange fluffy wig, and there were butter stains all over the salmon pink satin lobster tail and the blue denim overalls. Seams had ripped and pockets were torn, what a mess! The kitchen looked like a bomb site!

“What’s going on in there? If you girls are not ready for school in 5 minutes, we won’t be going”! Mry Arry called out from her bathroom.

The Arry girls looked at each other and laughed; the peanut butter was smeared across their faces and hands, what a sight. Their beautiful costumes sticky and torn! “We need to get out of here, in a hurry,” said Harry. “Let’s do a time leap,” said Larry.