I took the boys to the Five Below store (No Five Below is not sponsoring this post although I think they should since I just wrote about the store the other day too) and before we left I told both Maxfield and Wyatt to grab some of their money from their banks.
"I am going to bring 3 dollars." Max said knowing he was not going to bring all of the money from his bank.
"You may want to bring more Max, just in case." I then explained the concept of the Five Below store. "So maybe you should bring 5 bucks."
"No. I only need three dollars." he said confidently.
Wyatt collected 2 dollars from his bank. He took only his silver coins, he left the pennies. Two bucks is all he had.
There were over a hundred different things at the Five Below store that both boys wanted. They grabbed and touched everything in the store; cap guns, rubber balls, markers, cars, candy, water pistols, yo-yos etc. They held up each item asking the same question every time. "How much is this dad?"
They both decided on the same type of toy, a small Transformer figure which cost 3 dollars. I told Wyatt I would spot him the extra dollar. Max then said since I was spotting Wyatt an extra dollar could I spot him 2 dollars and asked if he could also get Marvel Super Hero Squinkies. Wyatt then said our favorite phrase in our house. "That's no fair." pointing out Max was going to get two things. ("No Fair" is said in our house about 150 times a day. Jackson,our 2 year old, even says it.). I then told Wyatt I would get him Squinkies as well.
We went to check out and placed the four items on the counter. I handed Max his three dollars, Wyatt his two. The teller told him it would be $10.60 with the tax. Both boys placed their money on the counter equaling five. I only had a $10 bill so I scooped up the kids money and handed the teller the ten spot with a few of Wyatt's coins for the tax.
"Why did you take my money Dad?" Max asked.
"Yeah, Dad. Why did you take our money?" Wyatt chimed in.
I did my best to explain how I used my money for the purchase and how I used their money to pay me back.
"But that was my three dollars." Max said.
"No, Max I paid for the toys with my money and the three dollars you had is paying me back. You still owe me two dollars."
"But you used my coins dad." Wyatt said. "So I don't owe you anything."
"Actually Wyatt you owe me three dollars."
"But you used my coins. You didn't use Max's money. That's. No. Fair." Wyatt started to raise his voice.
We quickly left the store.
The boys played with their new toys the whole ride home and for most of the day. Every now and then Max would ask for his money back.
"Can I have my three dollars?"
"Max it is not your three dollars."
"You took my money Dad. And you put it in your pocket. It is mine."
"But I paid for the toys with my money." I said.
"And mine." Wyatt added wanting credit for the 60 cents that was originally his.
"No Wyatt I used my money and your coins became part of that."
"But you took MY money. I want it back." Max demanded.
"And mine." Wyatt also demanded.
"No. That's not how it works guys." I said.
We had the same conversation several times throughout the day. Max and Wyatt never made an attempt to pay me back. Every now and again Wyatt would ask for his coins, Max for his bills. Finally after about the tenth request for the money I tried to explain how it all worked.
"Max you only brought 3 dollars to the store. Three single dollar bills. You bought two items. One was 3 dollars, the other 2 dollars. How much is that? Five dollars right? You only had 3. So I was giving you two dollars. Wyatt's toys cost $5. He only brought $2 so I was giving him $3. I only had a ten dollar bill. So I took your three singles and Wyatt's money to replace the money I was spending out of my money. So Wyatt OWES me 3$ and you owe me $2. Do you get it?"
Max's eyes tilted towards the ceiling, letting the numbers tumble in his brain.
"Kind of. So If I owe you two dollars, and you took my three dollars doesn't that mean you owe me a dollar in change?"
I am never going to get my money back.