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Mommy's Little Banker, Part 2

As I mentioned yesterday, Maddie’s
finally arrived at a place where she’s ready to trust a
financial institution with her hard-earned cash, so on Friday after
school Maddie, her piggy bank, and I took a trip to our
neighborhood bank to make a deposit.

I’d mentioned Maddie’s concern – namely, turning
her money over and never getting it back – to one of my
favorite tellers recently, and she promised to give Maddie a grand
experience at the bank. And boy, did she deliver.

Maddie and I walked in at 3 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, me
clutching Maddie’s hand and her clutching her plastic piggy
bank suspiciously. She’d agreed to come because I promised to
match anything she put in the bank and my girl is shaping up to be
quite the financial whiz. So she was there, but still rather

Our first stop was the coin counting machine: you place your coins
on a metal tray, then shove them into the open slot
slowly-but-rhythmically as the machine counts your cash before
giving you a receipt you can take to the teller window for either
cash or a deposit. I laid Maddie’s coins out on the tray in
preparation for sliding.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,
Mommy,” Maddie said. “Where’s my cash going to

“Well, down into this machine, baby, where it’s going
to get counted. Then the machine gives you a piece of paper that
says how much money you gave it and you hand that paper to the lady
at the front, and she puts that much money in your account.”

“But where does my money go?”

“Into the bottom of this machine, honey, like I told
you,” I said in my Look-At-What-A-Patient-Mom-I-Am voice.

Maddie eyed me askance. “But don’t other people use
this machine?”

“Yes, honey, anyone can use this machine.”

She shook her head. “Then how can they tell which pennies in
there are mine and which are someone else’s? How will I get
MY money back?”


I had to explain to Maddie that it won’t be those EXACT
pennies and dimes that they’ll hold for her, and for a while
I feared the whole thing would be a non-starter, so high was her
stress level on that. To demonstrate, I put two pennies of my own
into the machine, took a receipt for two cents to the teller, and
talked about my options with the woman. She was so nice she calmed
Maddie right down and then said, “Let’s walk over to
the coin machine and I’ll show you how it works! Do you want
to see the coins spin around inside it?”

Um, is Kermit green?

So Maddie listened solemnly while the woman explained the inner
workings of the coin machine, opening it up and showing where all
the coins were held, reminiscing about the time a paper clip got
stuck in there and broke the sorting blade – great excitement
– before shutting the machine and saying efficiently,
“Now, let’s get your coins counted, shall we?”

Maddie handed over the piggy bank.

What happened next? You'll find out tomorrow.


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