I found the three of them crowded together in a chair this morning. They were having a surprisingly calm disagreement about something.

Clara caught my eye as I walked by on the way to take a shower. She seemed to be at the heart of the discussion and was in some sort of dilemma.

I stopped and reluctantly walked over to mediate the conflict. “Okay, what’s going on?”

Clara sighed and motioned to her brother and sister. “He wants to watch Paw Patrol.”

The boy nodded and repeated the words “Paw Patrol”.

“And she wants to watch My Little Pony.”

I looked at Lydia. “Friendship is Magic,” I told her. “It really is!” she replied hugging herself and smiling.

I turned back to Clara. “So what is the problem?” I asked.

“The problem is that I have to vote now! And I can either vote to watch what my brother wants and make my sister mad, or I can vote to watch what my sister wants and make my brother mad. Or I could vote to watch something else and we would all be tied up!”

I could see the difficulty. However, I could also see that my oldest daughter was not entirely tormented by the position she was in. She seemed to be secretly enjoying this sudden position of authority.

“Well,” I said finally. “I’m sure you’ll figure something out. I’m going to go take a shower.”

As I left the room she was asking her siblings to give her persuasive arguments for why she should consider their opinion of what to watch over that of their sister or brother. Five paragraph essays about the merits of Paw Patrol over My Little Pony. A dramatic pantomime of their favorite scene from each, acted out before her on the living room floor. Put your heart into it Gideon! Lydia, raise your chin higher while you speak your lines! I want to see passion out there! Dance! Dance! I’m not convinced yet!

When I came back from taking my shower I found Clara alone in the chair. Lydia was on the floor playing with dolls and Gideon was no where to be seen.

“Where’s Gidbot?” I asked.

“He decided to go upstairs,” she said, without looking up from her computer screen.

“Oh, so what did you decided to watch? Did you solve your problem?”

“Huh?” She looked at me slowly, “Oh. Yeah, I worked it out. I decided to just watch candy review videos.”

I glanced down at Lydia and she gave me a knowing eye roll and went back to playing with her dolls.