Nia and the Cafeteria Money Mystery

18 Oct

“Hello. This message is for the parents of Antonia Valles. Our records indicate you have a cafeteria balance of negative $2.50. Please pay this balance promptly. Thank you.”

I never would’ve thought a message like that could spark the flood of tears and deep concern that came from Nia. Her immediate reaction was to cry and tell me over and over again, “They are lying, momma! They are LYING!”

After doing my best to calm the crazy, I asked her why she was so upset. All that did was start her up again. “Because they are lying! I never buy anything!” “Okay, fine,” I said. “Let’s try to figure out what else it could be.” I asked her if she got a juice, a milk or forgot her money on popsicle day. She dramatically denied me every scenario I suggested, still insisting that the cafeteria people were out to get her. She instructed me to call them and tell them they were wrong.

I thought about that phone call in my head. “Yes, Miss Elementary School Cafeteria Cashier, as if you don’t have enough to put up with, my seven-year-old says you’re a liar, liar pants on fire.”


Wow. All this for $2.50 that I knew I was going to pay whether Nia forgot she spent it or the school or another student made a mistake when entering the student ID. I mean, someone spent that money so the school needed it either way.

Despite Nia’s protest (“They just want our money, momma.”), I gave her the money to give to the school and, to satisfy her, told her I would call them to see what may have happened.

Turns out, someone purchased three school lunches using Nia’s number. The really nice woman from the cafeteria said she didn’t think another child could’ve made a mistake because the cashier is supposed to verify. She told me she’d talk with Nia’s teacher about it. I let her know all is well, until the bill is $50. Then, they’ll have to speak with Nia and she’s not as understanding about this matter as I am.

2 Responses to “Nia and the Cafeteria Money Mystery”

  1. Diana Rafiani October 18, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    What a sweet sweet girl we have.So you know every time she says they are lying you are going to believe her Right?

  2. Paul October 20, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    I love that your kid knows the government (school) is just out to take our money!

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