It turns out that all that planning may have been unnecessary.
We took my parents to the Chateau l'Hulpe for a picnic last Friday to celebrate the unbelievably beautiful weather. We brought a blanket, bagettes and books, and Benj brought a football. Matthew was reluctantly recruited to throw the ball with Benj, and the show began. Benj went out for the long pass, and Matthew watched it drop. Benj fired a short cross and Matthew let it wizz by. Now, Matthew is perfectly capable of catching the ball, he just wanted to read, and the whole ball tossing episode was messing with his plot line.
Benjamin wanted to play ball.
The next pass was accompanied by the warning "If you drop this I will tackle you."
Matthew dropped it.
Benjamin came tearing across the grass and Matthew went down.
He caught the next one.
Then he dropped one, and Benj charged him again.
After a few minutes of Benjamin running full speed right into him, Matthew got creative. The next time he dropped the ball, he waited until Benjamin was almost on him, then he dropped to the ground and curled up--evasive maneuvers.
And, after a few carefully timed defensive curls Matthew was reading once again.
I don't think I needed to worry about competition.