Ethan and Alex are home sick today. I was working on the bills and Ethan adopted all of the fake credit cards from my pile of bills. I gave him the speech about credit cards–about how you end up paying more and more each day on a loan than you had intended. He seemed very interested.

Then, he set up a shop.

He called me over and eagerly handed me the fake credit cards. I chose a small stuffed animal and paid for it. He looked very happy. I realized why, when his next customer approached. “Here Alex. And now you have to pay me $20.00 tomorrow, and then $30.00 the next day!!” Oh. I corrected him. “No Ethan, the money goes to the credit card company, not to you.”

I went back to paying the bills and both boys industriously vamped up stores. Ethan made price tags for tons more merchandise and Alex set up a box office to sell tickets to his puppet shows. Alex made tickets and gold coins to go in a red envelope. Ethan put items in little boxes and labelled the boxes with prices. This took a long time.

I was then called over repeatedly to shop at Alex’s store. He gave me a few credit cards, but he had no inventory. “Where’s your stuff?” I asked. “Behind my table.” “How do I see it then?” It turned out that he was trying to sell the puppets for the show. “I’ll just take a ticket to the show.” I said. I paid with my credit card.

Then I looked over at Ethan’s shop.

Ethan had just put the finishing touches on his shop. A big sign reading, “CASH ONLY.”

“Cash only, huh? Uh oh, I have no cash.”
Alex had cash. He had gold coins he was selling in a big red envelope he made. I bought it with my credit card, along with another ticket for my husband who also wanted to see the show. I went back to Ethan’s store. I looked at the price tags. “19 cents.” I read. Oh. no, It was “19 dollars and 19 cents.” “19.95?!” okay. I looked at his stuff and picked up a $20 laser pointer. “Okay, I’ll take this.” I handed Ethan a gold coin from my envelope.

“That’s only paper….REAL Cash Only.”
“What?! I don’t have any of that!”
“You can find some around the house”
“$20! Forget it!”

I went back to Alex’s shop. “I think I want to get one more ticket. I think my son would like to come too.” Alex looked sideways at Ethan, “You mean THAT guy?” “Yes, THAT guy.” “Ok.” He sold me another ticket on my credit card.