Vignette of the Day: August 28, 2009

Yesterday, my oldest had arranged to go to see the new X Games, the Movie, in 3D. I’ve been busy with work, and with cleaning the house since we found lice on his head three days ago. If your child has never had lice, removing them from his or her head is the least of your problems. The hassle is having to clean the bead sheets – of everyone in the house – and vacuum every space of the house where your child may have roamed every single day for two weeks until the reproductive cycle of the lice is interrupted. I was happy to have a bit of a respite for the afternoon, but as I dropped my kids off at school, I stopped my oldest and handed him a $20 bill for the movie and some snacks. “Bring me the change,” I called after him as he scampered off to class.

“OK!” he answered back, rounding the corner to his classroom.

The afternoon really got away from me. Vacuuming. Laundry. Work for two of my clients. Suddenly I realized I need to get an early dinner for my youngest, before getting him off to his soccer practice, after which I was going to have to take him to someone’s house where he would hand out teenage boys he’d never met while I sat in on a community swimming pool board meeting at the house of these boys’ mother.

The meeting went a little longer than I had expected, and out of respect for getting my youngest home at what was now an unreasonable hour so he could only be a little tired the next morning at school, I left the meeting early. The meeting, was just around the corner from the house of my oldest son’s best friend, whose father had brought them to see the movie.

Arriving at the house, I wanted to move my oldest along quickly, since I had left my youngest in the car. It was, after all, 9 PM, my youngest is seven years-old, he likes to sleep, and it was a school night. The boys father stopped me as we were about to leave. He was smiling, and when he smiles the way he way he was, the story is usually a good one.

“I’ve got to tell you,” he started. “We were waiting around the movie theater for my daughter and her friend to get out of their movie, so the boys went and got tokens and played those infernal video games they have on the first floor of the theatre. Well, after ten minutes your son walks up to me holding a single dollar bill. I’m looking at him wondering what he’s thinking and he asks me, ‘can you get me some more tokens?’ Well, I look at him, point at the token machine, and tell him he can get tokens right there. His answer to that was, ‘well I can’t use this dollar because I told my dad that I would give him the change from the movie.’”

The dad and I laughed. My son was nearby and knew what story his friend’s dad was telling me. My son looked over impishly and added, “What? You said you wanted change.”

Yes, I guess that is what I told him.



RJ Lavallee is the author of IMHO (In My Humble Opinion): a guide to the benefits and dangers of today’s communication tools on sale at, Barnes and Noble, and

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