Yesterday we were at the discount bookstore and I had just checked out and put my wallet away when Judah spotted something he desperately wanted - a set of 4 button pins with Justice League symbols on them.
I gave him "the look" that I hoped would shut him down immediately, but he would not be dissuaded. And to be fair, he did have $2 of his own that he was free to spend on whatever he wanted. So he begged me - please Mommy, can you just tell me how much this is?
I asked the lady at the checkout counter to scan it and she told us it was $5. Sorry Judah, Way over your budget. Denied.
But he would not be dissuaded.
The guy actually asked if he could borrow money from me, like I'm some kind of revolving line of credit. Uh, no. Not until you have some kind of employment history, buster.
And then he got really creative.
How about I just give you $2 for two of them and you keep the other two?
How about I give you $2 for two of them and Noah gets the other two?
Wait, Noah, Noah, don't you want to buy these buttons with me?
Noah took one look at the buttons and immediately lusted after them. He loves all things Superman so he was in. He also had $2 to spend so between the two of them, they had almost enough to buy the buttons. I felt generous so I told them I would chip in the extra $1 if they pooled their money together.
Judah felt elated, except for one small problem.
They could not decide who would get which buttons.
They BOTH wanted the Batman/Superman hybrid button. And understandably, no one wanted the Wonder Woman symbol.
I was adamant, I was not going to buy the buttons if it was going to cause them to argue indefinitely.
Judah whispered and cajoled Noah until they both agreed - no more fighting over the button.
So who's going to get the Batman/Superman button? I asked.
No one, said Judah, we'll figure it out later.
Yeah, said Noah, we'll share it!
I knew that's just a recipe for a future headache, but they seemed so proud of figuring out a temporary working solution, I just didn't have the heart to press the matter.
I bought the buttons and for the rest of the day, the two brothers were happy as jaybirds.
Judah kept holding and swinging Noah's hand singing - We made a deal! We made a deal!
Images of my previous corporate law life flashed before me and I appreciated anew the art of the deal. If only every party felt the way Noah and Judah did after settling a tough agreement.
Of course, later in the day Noah became annoyed again that he wasn't getting the Batman/Superman button outright, but somehow Judah, with his snake oil salesman voodoo, whispered sweet nothings into Noah's ear and got him to agree to give up his coveted pin.
Noah settled for Superman and Wonder Woman.
And now I'm just a little bit afraid of Judah's powers over me and his brother.
The next day Judah told me he was in possession of all FOUR of the pins now. Apparently he had wheedled and dealed Noah into trading them all away...for much more inferior things.
That ol' son of a gun. I think I could actually learn a thing or two from him.