Winning at all cost

On the way home from the store, Kathleen (6yo) spouted off every ten seconds or so about how she was progressing in her video game. With thumbs flailing, little beeps and boops sounding, she announced: “I got an extra point!” and “Wow, I made it to level 26!” and “I can’t believe it, I am about to beat the dragon!” After having to listen to Kathleen relate her triumphs all the way home, Lucy (4yo) demanded first to be able to watch Kathleen play, then to have her own turn. Inevitably, this ended with Kathleen ignoring Lucy, Lucy breaking into a full blown temper tantrum, and Jennifer and I trying to convince Kathleen that she had played enough levels and needed to share.

This was all quite normal except for the fact that there was no game and there were no levels. There wasn’t even a real “screen” on which Lucy could have watched Kathleen play. Kathleen was using a toy, plastic Disney phone that made random sounds when you push the dialing buttons. Unfortunately, none of this served to limit the sibling rivalry which Jennifer and I will have to endure for years to come.