“I know,” Gideon said, “How about you not let me watch Paw Patrol until me clean my room!”

“Oh, what?” I stopped grating cheese and looked down at the boy who I had not heard walk up.

He took a deep breath and repeated his idea, “How about me not get to watch Paw Patrol until I clean my room? How ’bout dat?”

I wiped hair out of my eyes with my forearm and looked around the kitchen hoping there was someone there that could explain why this little boy was so excited about sharing this idea with me. But we were alone. The girls were upstairs confined to their shared bedroom where they were being forced to clean so their cousin could visit the next day, their mother was busy working on clothes across the hallway in our bedroom, and the last that I had seen of Gideon he had been happily playing with some cars on the living room floor and wasn’t being told to clean his room.

I shrugged, not wanting to disappoint the guy who was apparently feeling left out of the family activities, “Um. Okay, Gideon,” I said flatly, “You can’t watch Paw Patrol until you clean your room.”

His face suddenly dropped and he let out a terrible moan of agony, “Awwwooooohhhhh!” he began to cry, “But I don’t want to clean my room!”

“Yes, but-” I sputtered.

The boy turned and ran screaming up the stairs.

“What happened to Gideon?” Andrea called down from the bedroom.

“Oh, nothing. You know, Normal stuff. Our children are all broken. That’s all.”