Last week I was tired of all the fights, arguments and squabbles and decided to put it to the family vote. Should we leave the Gibbons house with its rules and regulations? Or should we suck it up and stop complaining about it?
From the beginning there were two camps: Mack and Maddie (the quiet, over thinkers) wanted to stay, Llyw and Adelaide (the loud, impulsive characters) wanted to go it alone. I vehemently campaigned for us to stay. We’re better off together I said. Yes the Gibbons organisation has its flaws but we can’t change it from the outside, I said. So that left Genie and Torin as the undecided. Genie, friends with everyone, discussed the pros and cons with both sides (but not Mack because he doesn’t talk to anyone and just stays in his bedroom unless it’s food time). Torin carried on playing and drinking milk until it was time to vote and then went with the side who had the best toy on the day.
And then the vote was in: we were leaving the Gibbons family!
Holy shit I thought! THAT wasn’t supposed to happen. We can’t possibly cope on our own I thought, what on earth are we going to do now?
I told the kids I didn’t want to leave, I never wanted to leave, I have no idea how to manage the family out of the Gibbons house so someone else would have to do it.
Llyw and Adelaide were ecstatic. Llyw told Mack and Maddie how clever he was and that they’d always dismissed him as “the stupid one” but they weren’t laughing at him now! Adelaide, ever the realist, asked me what the plan was. I told her I didn’t have one, she wanted to leave so she should have had the plan. She told me she was eight and I was the grown up and I should have had the plan. I told her I didn’t and anyway she’d won and I wanted nothing to do with it so she’d have to think of a plan for herself. She panicked. She realised the enormity of the situation. She thought Llyw couldn’t possibly be allowed to be in charge of the family, he only wants to climb things and play Xbox. No, that wasn’t going to work; she’d have to do it herself. Llyw was heartbroken. His only ally in the house had turned against him. He retreated to his bedroom and refused to come out.
Mack carried on as if nothing had happened. That is his style. He’s a quiet contemplator. He’s the very opposite to Llyw. Mack went back to his room to think about the future, to google tactics and plan his campaign. Maddie was very upset. This won’t do! We can’t let Adelaide rule the house without any sort of opposition or obstacles: we’d all be colour co-ordinated and eating crisps by the end of the day. Maddie tried to talk to Mack but he was busy, in his room, thinking, researching. So Maddie felt she had no option than to tell everyone she no longer supported Mack. Mack stayed in his room out of the chaos and waited till everyone went to bed to come out of his room in search of food.
Genie was pleased. She’d thought long and hard about who she should side with. She was completely happy with her choice. She’d researched her options and would just wait for the shouting to stop and them life would get better.
Torin was pleased too. Now we could stop having stupid rules like not being allowed to leave chocolate on the floor. He was very cross about his chocolate being eaten by Toby (the dog). Everyone was very quiet. They didn’t want to tell Torin that he still couldn’t leave his chocolate on the floor. No one had ever promised he’d be able to leave his chocolate on the floor. And Toby would still be part of the family. Torin was pleased that he wouldn’t have to wear clothes anymore. Adelaide told him she thought he’d still have to wear clothes; it was Llyw who had said he didn’t have to wear clothes. And Llyw was still crying in his bedroom to be able to argue. Torin was very cross and started shouting that he wanted to change sides. He couldn’t live without me. I’m the best mother anyone in the world has had, ever. I’m like the patron saint of mothers. He demanded another vote. It’s like his right as a Gibbons child. It’s not fair and he decided to scream until he was allowed to change his vote.
And so this season concludes on a cliffhanger. What will happen next? We’ll just have to wait and see ….
(PS this is an analogy. All fine in the Gibbons house!)