I went swimming earlier today, and surely never has a blog post opened with a less interesting statement.
When prompted for my three quid to have a blast in the pool I reached for my wallet.
The receptionist is surely used to hesitation from me at this juncture, but today I had a legitimate reason. The £100 I thought I had in it (and believe me I KNOW when there's that much wonga in my possession) had gone.
I spluttered out “Is it okay to pay with a card?”
And she replied “Of course.” In her best 'I hate people that do that' tone.
This meant I spent my 64 lengths of the pool (that's a mile don't you know) wondering where the hell the missing £100 was.
Had I lost it?
Had I been secretly robbed?
Had I dreamed of visiting the cash point (it is something I regularly have nightmares about)?
Upon my return home a quick on-line banking visit established I hadn't gone mad, and that yes, money had gone somewhere.
I searched around the house to see if I'd dropped it anywhere, or if it was in a pocket somewhere.
I then retraced my steps to the extreme of visiting the actual petrol station I'd taken the money out from to see if anyone had handed money back in.
“No, not today.” Which may as well have been: “as if they would”.
Where was it then?
I must have dropped it.
Then after collecting my son from school, I think he sensed my agitation.
“You've not seen my wallet have you son?” I asked him, kinda giving my angst away.
I got an immediate smirk and that look of being prompted to remember something.
“Yes, I hid ALL. YOUR. MONEY. Dad.” my boy said.
It's not often I'm speechless, and I wasn't then either, but I did take a few seconds to respond.
“YOU. DID. WHAT?”
The mood changed a little, I remained calm, but the boy could sense he was in trouble.
We were soon in the house and my son was quick to hand back all my monies, to then promptly burst into tears.
“I feel horrible. Like I've been really naughty.” he cried.
I discussed his motives, trying desperately not to put words in his mouth, and affirming that yes, if he'd meant to take the money he'd be in big, big trouble.
As it was I accepted that it was a practical joke gone wrong, based on the facts that I didn't need to press him for an admission, he was quick to return the money from a place I'd would have discovered it with better searching skills, and he did claim to have hinted at taking the money last night, but I was distracted doing something else and more concerned with getting him into bed. Which sounds like me.
And it's quite possibly a case of my jovial nature coming back to haunt me. I'm not a prolific practical joker by any means, I'm struggling to think of an example of any physical trick I've pulled, but I do like to muck about and pull a leg or several (do we still pull legs?).
So I was torn.
Countering annoyance with possible admiration of his tomfoolery.
I'd love to raise a child of a bright fun loving disposition, but at the same time he needs to know there's a line, and a possible consequence for crossing it.
Something to ponder.
How irritated, or amused, would you have been?