Take $2 and call me in the morning

One day I walked past Liam’s room to see him on the floor, counting all the cash he’d saved to help determine which Legos on his wish list he could afford. Practically nothing is as expensive as retired Lego sets, so in order to purchase the ones he wanted, he asked if he could dip into his “save” jar, and I said he could spend a few dollars from it.

A little while later he came downstairs and said, “Mommy, I have a problem. I want to spend three of the dollars in my “save” jar, but all I have in there are my Sacagawea coins from the tooth fairy [he put theatrical emphasis on those two words and attempted an exaggerated wink], and those are special so I don’t want to give them away.” I suggested that he exchange them with me for paper dollars so I could keep the coins safe and reissue them to him at a later date. He agreed to that course of action and retreated to his room to pore over his lists of Legos and crunch some more money math.

That night around 8:00, when I was at peak readiness to have the children put away for the rest of the evening after a long day of uninterrupted togetherness, he came downstairs to ask if he could do the money exchange. I said he could, quickly, and directed him to my fabric box disguised to look like a book in which I “hide” my on-hand cash stash. He opened it and looked through the contents, commenting that he could only find two singles among the bigger bills. I spied a five-dollar bill in the bowels of the book when I looked over his shoulder, so I said, “Just take the five and get out of my kitchen,” to which we all had a laugh.

After he’d gone upstairs and I’d heard his door shut, I looked at Brian, who’d overheard the exchange, and half-jokingly said, “They all just need to go away.” (The word “temporarily” was implied and understood.)
Brian: “You’re starting to sound like Barty Crouch.”
Alison: “I don’t know who Barty Crouch is.”
Brian: “He’s Barty Crouch’s father.”
Alison: “I said I didn’t know who Barty Crouch is.”
Brian: “I know.”
Alison: “Now you need to go away too.”
Brian: “I will if you give me five dollars.”

P.S. Upon conducting some perfunctory research, I realized that Brian had been referring to a character from the world of Harry Potter. In scanning the “early life” section of the biography of Bartemius Crouch, Sr. on the Harry Potter Wiki Fandom site, I came across a quote attributed to the character Sirius Black, who said this about Barty: “Should have spent a bit more time at home with his family, shouldn’t he?” Well, I can tell you one thing that’s certain beyond any shadow of a doubt: in that respect, at least, Barty and I have absolutely nothing in common. In fact, when it comes to alone time, I’ll actually pay for it.

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