Yesterday, I had a $20 bill in my wallet, and had to break it so I could make up the difference on a Mother's Day Starbucks gift card that was short 27 cents. So I had 4 ones, a five, and a 10. difficult child came home in a rush yesterday, saying he had to return a game to K, and he also wanted to put air in his bike tires. He grabbed my purse and keys and waited for me in the car. I hate it when he rushes me like that; of course, my phone was left behind on the countertop. And ... when we got to the gas station to fill his tires with-air, and needed 4 quarters, the 10 was missing. I confronted him and he got angry and denied it and said he didn't know where it was. I gave him all the bills and told him to help me count it; maybe I was just reading it all wrong. He refused and turned his back. I had him empty his pockets. He did. More or less. Hmm. I went inside and got four quarters, and also some chocolate, not that I wanted to reward him, but that he would use the 10 for something and then claim he'd used it for candy. So I was doing a pre-emptive strike. We got the bike in the car and were on our way, and I told him again about the money. I said, you know you've stolen from us before and we no longer trust you. He said he understood but that he didn't have it. The last time he did this, and was in a rush, he bought pot from his friends, supposedly for the first and last time. He insisted he did not use drugs and he was not going to buy pot and he didn't have the money. So we get to the park ... which has a rep as a drug place ... and his friends are all sitting at a picnic table and most of them have bikes thrown on the ground. I stay in the pkng lot for a few minutes, combing my hair and generally planting myself and all the kids are staring at me. I finally go home, ask easy child if she took $10, she says no but she'll help me look. I tell her about difficult child and she says it's pretty obvious. I now have my cell ph and call K, (who is sitting at the picnic table with-difficult child) and ask him if he knows if difficult child took $10, and to please tell me if difficult child buys anything. He says, "No, I haven't seen any money on him and didn't plan to do anything with it." I tell him that if difficult child suddenly decides to treat everyone to something, to let me know. 45 seconds later, difficult child calls me in a huff, wanting to know why he's in trouble ... I said I was simply asking his friend if he saw $10 that you may have had. "NO! And I'll get the money from M !" "Huh? Why would you do that? You'll just have to pay him back." "No, he said he'd just give it to me. He's got two fives." I pick him up a little bit later at K's house. We drive home in silence. He did not fight me to play rap songs like he usually does. He was very calm. He of course wants the TV/game cord. "I'll be happy to give it to you after you help me find my $10. It's going to take awhile to look through the house and the car." "I do not have it!" "I didn't say you did. But you are going to help me find it and then you can get the cord." He leaves the room, then comes back and tosses two fives at me. "Now give me the cord!" husband calls while this is going on and says he's almost home and he'll deal with-it. I told difficult child that and he said there was no reason to wait for Dad unless I was going to tell him about the $10. Uh, yeah ... So difficult child and husband and I discuss it, more or less calmly, and husband says fine, he can have the cord and the issue of the $10 has now been passed onto M and him, rather than Mom and him. difficult child is fine with-that and husband and I leave to go out to eat. husband says, "You intercepted his plan to buy pot and now you know who the dealer is." Huh? "The dealer is the one who gave him the two fives? Why not just give him back the same 10 dollar bill?" "Because they're not smart enough to do that and they knew they were busted and just wanted to get you out of their hair. M is a yr older, he's in HS and they always stop by his house. His mom is always calling the police on him, remember." "THAT kid? Oh, now I see." Well, I knew difficult child was up to something but I hadn't crossed all the t's and dotted all the i's until husband pointed it out. We spent dinner talking about what we were going to to when difficult child got someone pregnant ... lovely.