The Middle Child

“Aww, little Katie, what’s the matter darling? Did someone take your play dough away?” Rod asked. The little girl nodded, tears streaming down her bubbly cheeks. “Here, Daddy will get you some more,” he promised.

Rod straightened up and walked to the kitchen, preparing to make some dough for his daughter. As he did, he called out, “Gene! Get in here!”

Gene sauntered in, his typical glare on his face. “What, Dad?”

“Did you take little Katie’s play dough from her?”

“Why would I do that?”

“Because you love to torment your little sister. On a near-daily basis.”

Gene rolled his eyes. “Whatever, Dad.”

“So you didn’t take it?”

“I did, I needed something for a school project. Is that all right with you, your majesty?”

“It’s fine, but ask next time. I can make you some with whatever colours you want, and Katie won’t get upset.”

“Why would you do that?”

“Because you’re my child, and I love you.”

“Ugh, whatever Dad.” Gene walked away, and Rod turned to mixing the ingredients. Out in the living room, Katie had stopped bawling, and was happily playing with some blocks.

Tara sat on the sofa, her legs not quite reaching the floor, watching the drama of her siblings and her father unfold. When Rod started making the play dough, she considered asking for some for herself, but turned back to her book, deciding against it. He probably wouldn’t hear her anyway.

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