After concluding my business at the bank, I gave the kids 2 months worth of back allowance. They looked and felt flush. The chorus started almost immediately. “Where are we going next? I’m hungry! Let’s go to Dunkin’ Donuts!” Evil mother that I am, I refused to take them out to lunch unless they each paid their own way.

And so they did.

The cashier at the Bagel Mart was less than pleased when I informed her that our group would be paying separately. Her disgruntled attitude was tempered as each child proudly handed over what Medium and the boys believed to be hard-earned cash.

After we sat down together at a grimy little table, Small announced that he was thirsty. The kids looked at each other. No one had remembered to buy a beverage. I busied myself with my turkey and cheddar on pumpernickel and held my tongue.

“I’ll buy us drinks,” said Large, rising from his seat.

While he was gone, I prompted his siblings to express their appreciation. Accepting their tuneless thanks, he responded, “Yeah. Don’t expect me to be so generous next time.”

He had purchased one bottle of chocolate milk to share.