"So can I?" The oldest looks at me hopefully. Unfortunately, I've missed whatever came before, lost in putting dogs out.
"Can you what, dear?"
"Can I get Daddy a Guitar Hero controller for Christmas? So we can battle each other!" He begins to dance around, riffing on a guitar that only he can see.
"Ah, this is a fine idea. Do you have the money?"
He stops playing momentarily. "Umm... I was thinking you could loan it to me."
"Oh! You were? How were you planning to pay it back?"
He thinks for a minute, absentmindedly biting at the edge of his lip, which looks chapped. I resist the urge to grab my purse off the counter and root in it for chapstick.
"Got it! When the Tooth Fairy comes, I can give you that money." Satisfied, he disappears back into his music again. I'm fairly certain that movement he just made with his foot was a wah-wah pedal.
"Oh, yes, the Tooth Fairy. How much is she paying now? I've lost track."
"About $1. But sometimes she gives me books instead."
"Oh, dear. That is a problem. As is the fact that you don't have enough teeth in your mouth to cover the cost of one."
"I don't?" He is stricken.
"Alas, you do not. Plus you would be sad if you had to give me all your future tooth earnings."
He considers this, then nods. Then grins. Mischievously. "OK, maybe I'll get him something lame instead. Like, you know, slippers."
I gasp in mock outrage. "HE LIKED THE SLIPPERS I GAVE HIM LAST YEAR, THANKYOUVERYMUCH."
The oldest cracks up, spins, strums invisible strings as he ambles down the hall, my very own rock star.