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I chose to listen.

Not to the iPhone playing the latest downloaded album, not to another inaccurate weather report and, most definitely, not to Lady GaGa, though my little boy had requested it on the way to the car. Even I have standards. We’ve all had a bad romance. I’m not interested in hers.

Instead, I listened to my little ones debate. By the grace of God, and the car seats that kept them strapped in, they didn’t come to blows.

It started innocently enough, when Donovan, my son, looked at a gas station to his right and said “Daddy can I have a gas station toy? I want it to be yellow.”

Amelia – that would be my daughter – growled, looked at him and said “pink.”

“Yellow.”

“No, pink.”

“No, yellow.”

It sounded not unlike the state Legislature in Albany, only more effective because I was prepared to buy yellow and pink gas station toys – anything to keep the peace. Here, everyone was about to get their way.

They told each other to “stop it,” and retorted with great effectiveness, “no, you stop it,” before Donovan lost interest in the heated exchange and noticed a blue school bus.

“Amelia, stop,” Donovan shouted before adding, “Daddy blue school buses are cool, right?”

Amelia, not to be silenced, said “Daddy, blue school bus!” That irritated Donovan, who was clearly tired of sharing that morning’s stage with his punk sister.

The trip to school was completed minutes later. On our way down the hallway, I asked Amelia if she wanted a pink gas station toy. She didn’t respond, walking with her pink hat pulled over her eyes. She finally stopped, looked up and said “I’m a princess.”

Donovan had moved on as well, making a bee line for his cubby, where he shoved in his hat before heading over to the computer to play some game. Their days as gas station operators had come and gone.

Glad I didn’t miss it.

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