Ah, these are the dog days of me and The White Car.
This afternoon I did this half-hearted thing I do when my gas tank is being filled: I washed my windows with the dirty squeegy thingy; then, when the pump clicks off, I hurry to finish the windows and don’t squeegy off the excess water-filth.
By the time I got home, I could not see out of the passenger side of the windshield.
“Girls*,” I said, “I will pay you a dollar if you wash my car windows.”
“WHOA.” “WOW.” “A DOLLAR!” they shrieked. “Can we wash the rest of the car, too?”
Knock yourselves out, I told them, but I’m only paying one dollar, and I’m not paying anything if you argue while you’re doing it.
Miraculously, they washed the windows and the car without arguing. I paid them each their dollar and we discussed what a kid could do with a whole dollar.
After assuring Sigourney that yes, you can fold a dollar, no you cannot eat a dollar (“it’s dirty,” I told her, to which she agreed, “yeah, it fell in the MUD and now it’s MUDmoney”), I attempted to explain about going to the store and trading the dollar for something else, such as:
- A small apple
- Three or four bananas
- A small bag of cotton balls
- A tiny notebook (memo pad)
- 100 pencils if you go into Office Max 4 different times and buy the maximum limit of 25 pencils for 1 cent each
- A small pack of crayons
- A few stickers
- A cup of rice (white or brown)
“Or how about chocolate?!?” suggested Erma.
“Well, you might be able to buy a LITTLE chocolate for a dollar. Not a LOT of chocolate. But wouldn’t it be better to buy an apple?”
We both knew it wouldn’t be better. Because chocolate is chocolate. And secretly, I was kind of proud of her for wanting to use her money for chocolate. That seemed like such a sillyliss thing to do that she suddenly seemed like my child. (Which she is anyway.)
And then Sigourney wanted to turn her dollar into chocolate right now, which didn’t work out the way she hoped. She later tried to buy more dessert with her dollar, which also didn’t work out.
I heard a rumor that they are going to use their dollars to buy doughnuts and eat them in the park tomorrow. Now that’s money well spent.
*which I only call them when my mother isn’t around