I have been given 12 hours to pay back my five year old (with interest) or he has threatened to “take me to zero.” I don’t know what that means, but it does not sound good.
While getting ready to leave the house this morning, I noticed that the diaper bag was already gone. Normally, this would not have been an issue. But, since my wallet was still in the outside pouch from last night’s outing, I had a sinking feeling that GWE took the bag with her not realizing that she also had my identification, credit cards, and cash. I immediately called her to see if she had the diaper bag. She did. Luckily, she had planned on being near my office today, so she could drop it off. Problem solved, kinda.
I then loaded Garrett and Justin into the car and seat-belted them in. I turned the ignition on, looked at my dashboard, and had a minor heart attack. No gas. I had less than a ¼ of a tank and needed to get from Northridge to Encino to take the kids to school and then from Encino all the way into Santa Monica for work and then all the way back home to Northridge again….and I still had no wallet. Out of frustration, I turned around to look at the kids and my luck changed….
Sitting in between Justin and Garrett was a crumpled, ten dollar bill that Grandpa Bob had given to Justin less than a week earlier for his pre-school graduation. I looked at the money and then I looked into the face of my sweet, innocent, child.
“Justin, can I borrow your $10.00 bill?” I asked kindly.
“No.” he responded.
“Please, Justin. I really need to borrow it for gas.”
“Where is your money, daddy?” he asked.
“Well, mommy accidentally took my wallet because it was in the diaper bag and I really need a few dollars for gas.” I explained.
“Why do we need gas? Where are we going?” At that point, I knew I was screwed. How do you tell a five year old that you need to borrow his money (money that he doesn’t want to give you) to take him to a place that he doesn’t want to go?? (School!)
“Buddy, I love you and I promise to give you a crisp, unwrinkled $10 bill tonight. But right now, I need your money.” At this point, I wasn’t really asking. I was sliding it out of his hand as we continued to talk.
Tears began to form and I felt like crap about this, but gasoline is gasoline.
After a few minutes, Justin asked, “Can I call mommy?” I dialed mommy and handed Justin the phone. She picked up on the third ring.
“Mommy? Daddy took my ten dollars and he said that you took his wallet and now he is going to use my ten dollars for gasoline. Why did you take his wallet?” She paused and explained that it was an accident. She then encouraged Justin to ask for interest on my ten dollar loan. “Tell him that you want eleven dollars,” she said.
“Daddy, I want twelve dollars!!” he demanded.
“WHAT?!?! A 20% vig!?!?!?!” I was outraged, but really needed the cash.
“Fine, buddy. You win.”