At the book store

As we were getting ready to go to the Scholastic bookfair last night, I reminded the boys to bring their money. They scurried off to their rooms.

“Actually,” my wife said when they were out of the room, “I always buy them each one book.”

“Really?”

It’s not that I’m against buying books for the kids, but we do give them an allowance, and it seems like buying books is the perfect use for that money. She was insistent, though. The boys returned with their wallets, and the three of us headed out.

When we got to the bookfair, I gave the kids the good news: I would be buying them each one book, and they could buy others for themselves. The kids dove into the shelves, looking from book to book, searching for exactly what they want. 

“How about this, Daddy?” My youngest was holding up an oversized book about dragons. It was one of those pseudo-encyclopedia type things, with no stories, just tons of “facts.”

“Sure,” I said, taking it, “but only if you pick out something to read, too.”

While he went back to browsing, I tracked down my 9-year old. He was examining at a Star Wars encyclopedia. As I watched, he turned it over to look at the price. “Aw, man!” He put it back on the shelf. “It’s too much.”

“I can lend you some money,” I said. He never brings all his money when he leaves the house.

“Mmm,” he considered for a moment before nodding. “Okay.”

“I’ll hold it,” I said, tucking it under my arm with the dragon book, “while you find a book for reading.”

It wasn’t long before both boys were back with books in hand. My oldest came back first with something called The Magic Thief. “How about if I buy this one?” he asked. “And you get that one.”

I’ll admit it. I was browsing, and not paying much attention. “Okay,” I said.

He laughed the kind of laugh that gets my full focus.

“Wait a minute,” I said. “Let me see that.”

He held it up, still grinning, so I could see the big red sticker on the front: $2.99

“Okay,” I said. “You got me.”

“I want this one, Daddy,” his younger brother said, holding up Origami Yoda. “But I’ll buy it. You can get that one!”

Both kids burst out laughing.

Sheesh.

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