There’s a lot of money changing hands in our house. The kids often bribe their siblings with what’s left of their birthday money or found change to do whatever it is they can’t, or more often, don’t want to do. Jules will offer $1.00 to whoever will go upstairs and grab the socks that she forgot. Bell will promise a quarter to whoever finds the TV remote.

Mia had a small plastic bag of coins and Leo somehow earned a hand full of them. He was only half-way dressed for Mass when he brought his loot into my bedroom to excitedly show me what amounted to about 75 cents, mostly in pennies and nickles.

Me: “That’s awesome, buddy! Listen, I need you to be sure to put that somewhere that Norah can’t find it, okay? We don’t want her to choke on the coins. And please finish getting dressed.”

He walked away to, presumably, find a safe hiding place for his money and put on some pants. A few minutes later, I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth and he walked past the door, holding his crotch and with his knees together, wearing his shirt for church but still in just his underwear.

Me: “Ummm, why aren’t you dressed? Why are you walking like that?”

The kitten ran over to him and he bent down to pet it. Just then, all of the change that he’d just earned spilled out of his underwear and onto the floor. He looked up at me sheepishly.

Me: “You stuck the change in your underwear?”

Leo: “Yeah… I was trying to think of someplace that Norah couldn’t find it. I put it in my underwear and tried to stick it, like, under my balls but I guess it didn’t work. I think I need tighter underwear or bigger balls.”

Me: “Well, I was thinking you could just put your change on a high shelf or on the counter, maybe?”

Leo: “Yeah, but I wanted to put it in the money basket at church so I wanted to take it with me in my underwear.”

Me: “Uh huh. So, you were going to dig the money out from under your balls when they passed the basket to us? Like, all up in the middle of Mass? You were going to put THAT money that was next to and under your balls in the offertory basket?”

Leo: “Yeah.”

Me: “I love that you want to share your money with the church, but how about you just keep your change and I’ll give you a couple of dollars to put in the basket? Or you know, next time, instead of putting a bunch of change under your balls, you could put it in your pocket?”

Leo: “Yeah…I forgot about pockets. That was pretty smart, though, right Mom? Norah would never find it under my balls. We gotta get me some tighter underwear…”

Me: “Nope- you’re going to use your pants pocket, remember?”

Leo: “We’ll see…”

And then I gave him two dollar bills that, as far as I know, hadn’t been in anyone’s underwear recently. I also made a mental note to always buy his underwear a couple of sizes too big.


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