money or charyibdis

I chased Allie's kid Lily around my house. She was on roller blades, and I was snatching cameras and binoculars out of her path, until finally, everything valuable I own was in my hands.

"How about a cupcake?" I offered.

I should have said that sooner. The skating stopped, and soon I was mesmerized by how the child was trying to grind cupcake crumbs permanently into my countertops.

"Lily's decided she never wants to have kids."

Lily nodded. "They're too much work."

I was ruminating on her use of the third-person when Allie told her "You know, you're one of the reasons John doesn't have kids."

The child looked to me for confirmation. I nodded. "You're one of exactly eight reasons," I said, referring to the baby boom of 2005.

"You can't have nice things," I said. "And kids take up all of your free time."

"And then some," Allie corrected.

"And my god, the money."

"They cost a LOT of money," Allie agreed, and I began to wonder if the third-person problem was a genetic thing.

"It's a choice you make, really. Do I want kids, or do I want time and money?" I continued.

"I want money," Lily declared, the question stupid.

Good girl. Have another cupcake.