“Mom, now you owe me fifty dollars!”
It had been one of those days, the kind when by afternoon you wonder why your feet hurt so much and then you realize that you have neglected to sit down the entire day and you have literally run through the house trying to pack lunches and clothe children while you yourself forgot to eat breakfast and you’re wearing socks that were never meant to be together.
But as it goes, that’s just life with kids. As a parent, you start letting your guard down on things because you’ve got to choose your battles. When faced with one daughter eating crusty broccoli and noodles discovered from last night’s dinner and a son who is wearing the same old t-shirt and camouflage pants to school for the third time this week, I have to say the spoiled food won.
I can only be in one place at one time. I’m only person, and I’m certainly going to make mistakes. Perfect parenting doesn’t exist, and if it did, I’d surly pelt it with leftover broccoli and stick a piece of dried pasta in its nose.
Racing home from work, I had a few extra minutes to pick up some healthy food at the store before getting the kids from school. Some salad and strawberries went into my bag and I was feeling pretty good about myself because I knew it was going to be pizza night, and as much as I’d like to think tomato sauce is a veggie and cheese is calcium-rich dairy, the puddle of grease at the bottom of the plate is a true give away.
Quickly running through the check-out lane, I got into a lengthy conversation with the people at the store about vinegar and arthritis and ended with an impromptu miming of myself eating “medicinal” French fries dripping in vinegar.
Ha ha ha, ho ho ho, and out the door I went…with no change.
And this would have been OK, except that it was pizza night and I really should pay the delivery guy.
Sans cash, I turn to my own personal ATM.
Real money is so fleeting, I am more likely to have zero cash than any cash on any given day. But my kids’ piggy banks surely do. So before the doorbell rang, I went to a nice stash of communion money and saw that that I had already started a tab. Despite grumbles from the bank owner, I grabbed some cash and updated the I.O.U. “Yes, I owe you $50,” I told her. “I’m good for the cash, I swear.”
As it turns out, I’m not the only one who does this. A quick survey of friends proved to me that a large percentage of my pals are in debt to their children. My own mother confessed that they paid for my entire baptism party with the money I received. (They must have not invented I.O.U.’s back then.)
Feeling slightly accomplished, we went out to play after dinner, and wouldn’t you know, the same banker child comes running up with a bloody mouth and a tooth that has been hanging on for months, in her hand.
As happy as she was to have lost the tooth, my first emotion was panic. (You see, I like to be prepared with a couple of dollars just in case the Tooth Fairy drops her wallet on the way to my house. If she needs a two-spot, I’m her gal.) But there I was, wiping a bloody chin and cursing myself for jabbering at the grocery store and forgetting those very perfect dollar bills that would have come in handy right then.
Instead, I lovingly put the children to bed and slipped over to their piggy bank where I borrowed a buck or two for that klutzy fairy and all was right in the world. Especially since they’re not old enough to understand the concept of “interest.”
Read more and contact Karrie at www.KarrieMcAllister.com.