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Stealing from a baby

Posted by on January 12, 2011 at 10:46 am

As the husband was traveling and we were hunkering down for the snowstorm that actually came last night, the diner brought us dinner – waffles and bacon and French fries. And if that seems like a low point because of the dearth of nutrition and abundance of saturated fat, you are not only no fun, you are also just wrong. The low point came much earlier in the dinner process when I realized I didn’t have the right cash to pay for said delicacies.

My wallet contained two ones and a hundred dollar bill, which is essentially useless because I didn’t let the diner know when I ordered that I only had a big bill and the delivery guy was already en route I realized it. I have life-long money issues – (stemming, I’m sure, from a bike ride with my sister to the Dairy Queen when I was about 7) – so I got a little anxious and started rooting through my coat pockets and bags to find money. Fortunately, I’m also a little careless with cash so I quickly found enough to pay for dinner, but I was a little low on the tip

Enter young son. Poor guy didn’t see it coming.

“Do you have a one-dollar bill I could have?” I asked.

He has a cash register that is full with fake money, Canadian money, coins and the rare US dollar or two he comes across.  Helpful as ever, he agreed immediately.

“Actually, do you have two ones?”

Again, he did not balk and set off for his room to get his lamemom his dollars. Once in his room, I see a ten-dollar bill in his register.

“Actually, do you want me to give these TWO ones for that one ten-dollar bill?”

Admittedly, I was getting greedy, but the ten would allow me to pay for dinner, tip the guy AND pick up a coffee in the morning when I was walking the dog. – it was solving my problem and promising a smoother morning for everybody. Jake jumped at the offer – two bills for the price of one and a happy mother – win-win.

Did I feel badly? I was without doubt taking advantage of my 5-year old son. But I really wanted that ten, and isn’t it better to play a little trick (unbeknownst to him) so we all come out ahead? The vanilla shake I “accidentally” ordered helped assuage my guilt. And now I know we need to spend a little bit of time practicing money math.

Filed under Kindergarten, NYC
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