A Bargain at Any Price

When my niece, Karen, was four years old, and her sister, Ashley about two, they took a trip with their mom to visit their Aunt Kathy and family. Mama Susie was driving and Aunt Kathy was occupying the front passenger seat. The two girls were in the back seat, doing what many siblings do on long car trips—fighting and quarreling. Then the antics began escalating to smacking each other.

Finally, Mama had enough. She glanced (glared, maybe?) back at her daughters and delivered that Classic Mom Line, “Am I going to have to pull this car over? Because if I do, I’m going to paddle you both!”

Instant silence from the Peanut Gallery.

Then, a small, still four-year-old voice came from the back seat, saying, “Mama, I give you a quarter, you not give us a spanking.”

Of course during this mother/daughter exchange, Aunt Kathy was doing her best to keep from laughing. You may remember, Kathy was sent to her room once for threatening the efficacy of character training with her laughter and now she was risking a paddling at the side of the road. After shushing her sister, Susie responded to her daughter’s negotiations for a quarter, “Well, I’m sorry, Karen. That’s just not enough!”

Instant silence, again. The next thing they hear is Karen’s small, plaintive voice saying, “I’ll give you a dollar.”

Don’t miss the rest of the Stories My Family Tells as I Write 31 Days this October. Click here to check out the wide range of topics from a wide range of writers

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