Scissor, Paper, Stone


My husband and I are seated in a restaurant. As we await our food, my husband reads the news while I attempt to complete a game of Kakuro that I had begun earlier. My stomach growls in hunger, as my mind feebly attempts to fill-in the various numbers in the fast blurring grid.

Suddenly a sweet and shrill voice sings, “Scissor, paper, stone”. I look up and see a little girl of about seven, who is seated across the aisle with her family. Her voice is so musical and brings a smile to every face. But the girl is oblivious to all the attention. She is engrossed in playing the game with her little brother. The siblings play with one hand and keep score with the other hand. The game progresses at a rapid pace – amicably at times and with some typical squabbling at other times.

Soon, the kids stop playing and start eating. They ask their parents for chocolate milkshake! I notice that they have been told to share a glass of milkshake. Each sibling has been given a straw.

Photo by Anastasia Ilina-Makarova from Pexels

I am curious now. If my kids had been in a similar situation they would have argued about how they would split the milkshake.

The sister, who is the older of the siblings, seems to be in command. She measures with her finger, and makes a few lines on the outside of the glass where water drops have condensed. Then she tells her brother to drink the milkshake. When the level reaches the first line, she asks him to stop. It is her turn now. They take turns to drink, as the sister carefully monitors the situation.

I am in awe of her ingenuity and at how efficiently she seems to have managed the process of sharing! The kids go back to playing their game and I go back to grappling with those elusive numbers.

I suddenly yearn for those times with my children when they were younger; when they would play such games and kick each other under the table at restaurants, or laugh at the silliest of jokes and make weird faces at each other. The years seem to have flown past. But for a short while there, we had an opportunity to relive the past.

And as our food finally arrives, the siblings and their parents leave the restaurant. I laugh when I see that their tiny fingers are still keeping the scores for their Scissor, paper, stone game.