Marash Girl's dad loved to give object lessons, particularly after hearing his children bicker.
Calling his children into the back yard, and holding out one stick for each, he would command, Break the stick if you can. Marash Girl and her brother and sister dutifully broke their respective sticks in half.
Holding up three sticks, he repeated the command. Break this bunch of sticks if you can. Not one of the children could halve the bunch of three sticks.
His lesson: That's what happens when the three of you 'stick' together! No one can break you apart.
In the winter, when the back yard was covered in snow, Marash Girl's dad would depend on whatever was at hand for his object lesson.
Holding up his right hand and slapping it towards his left, he would ask the three children, Did you hear anything?
No . . . came back the chorus of three young voices.
Holding up both hands and slapping them together, he would ask, Now do you hear anything? His children dutifully nodded. They got it.
Marash Girl's mom got it too. The children never heard her argue with their dad. In fact, one day, when Marash Girl was grown up, her mom told it like it was: The only reason there's peace in this house is because I keep my mouth shut! (and by house she meant the whole house with Uncle Paul and his family of five on the second floor and Grandma and Grandpa on the third floor).
(She didn't add this but let Marash Girl add here that her mom 'kept her mouth shut' . . . at least while the children were in hearing distance!)