I was sitting on the two-seat caramel couch while my feet slid across a creme, light turquoise, and tawny brown flower-designed carpet. My attention was on the 50-inch t.v that was housed on top of a clear two-tier entertainment center. The glorious smell of my mom’s cooking filled the air. My sister was sitting at the dining room table, where she had built her command center consisting of two monitors, a keyboard, a mouse, and her agenda. Jubilee, my six-year-old niece, had just gotten out of school, and I could hear her dainty footsteps approach me.
“Hey munchkin, what are you up to?” I asked.
“I’m going to go shopping. See?”
Jubilee showed me her purse, which was mostly cadet blue except for the straps and flap; they were pretty watermelon pink with a heart in the center. She opened her bag, and I looked inside, seeing the cash she had collected from grandparents, aunts, and uncles. This was the one and only purse that contained Jubilee’s money.
“I do see. Shopping sounds like fun.”
Already walking away from me, Jubilee responded with a soft, “Yeah.”
Jubilee walked into the kitchen that had a stainless steel fridge on the left as soon as you walked in. Next to the fridge was a black stove with a matching black microwave. Across, you will find a stainless steel sink with two cabinets underneath. Our pantry sits next to the sink with an ash finish, located throughout the rest of the kitchen cabinets. On the other end of the kitchen, there was a door that led to the patio, and in the corner, Jubilee’s toy kitchen could be found. I heard the rustling of Jubilee’s toys when my mom started talking to her.
“What are you doing?” My mom asked.
“I’m going shopping.”
“Do you have money?”
“Yes, look,” Jubilee stated.
“Money! I want money!”
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jubilee running towards me. I turned to look at Jubilee and saw my mom running after her. They ran around the living room like two dogs chasing each other. At one point, they started running circles around the dining room table and my sister.
“TT, help me!”
Jubilee couldn’t say Tia when she was younger, so she called me TT; it stuck. I got up from the couch and ran over to Jubilee, hiding behind the walnut circle dining table. My mom was on the other side of the table, prepared to catch Jubilee. I picked up Jubilee, and we escaped into my mom’s room then I closed the door.
“Thank you, TT.”
Suddenly we heard the rattling of the doorknob as my mom tried to get into the room, but ultimately she “couldn’t open the door.”
“Aww man, I want that money,” My mom said.
“Ha. Ha. You can’t have it.”
I looked down at Jubilee, who was staring at the door, and I hovered my hand over her purse.
“Grandma can’t have the money, but I can.”
I “tried” snatching Jubilee’s purse. Jubilee was too quick for me and pulled her bag away, she then opened the door and took off running. As soon as my mom saw Jubilee run out of the room, both she and I started chasing Jubilee. We chased Jubilee around the living room, the dining table, and the kitchen. She laughed the entire time. After five minutes, we all stopped because my mom had to get back to cooking. My mom walked into the kitchen while Jubilee and I sat on the couch.
“TT I have an idea,” Jubilee declared.
“What is your idea, munchkin?”
“Why don’t we take turns hiding my money?”
I thought about how I could kill two birds with one stone and try incorporating math into the game for Jubilee’s sake.
“Sure, that sounds like fun. But first, let’s count the money, so we know exactly how much you have. That way, when we find the money, we can make sure we got it all, ok?” I asked.
I grabbed the money from Jubilee’s purse and counted it out with her. By the time we got done counting, we had seen that Jubilee had sixteen one-dollar bills and one twenty-dollar bill.
“If you have sixteen dollars plus twenty dollars. How much money do you have?”
Jubilee started at twenty then counted the one-dollar bills one by one.
“Thirty-six dollars,” Jubilee replied.
“Yes, good job. Alright, so who is going to hide the money first?”
“I’m going to go to Grandma’s room and wait,” I said.
“I’ll come get you when I’m ready.”
I made my way to my mom’s room, where the first thing you saw was the window across from you. On the east side of the room was a queen-sized bed that had a baby pink comforter with matching pillows. Above the bed were three separate pictures of various flowers. Across from the bed on the west side stood an antique cherry wood dresser with a mirror attached. Next to the dresser was the closet with the t.v in between both. I laid down on the bed and closed my eyes, trying to relax. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I was playing with Jubilee, I would have knocked out right then and there. After a few minutes, I heard the same dainty footsteps as before coming towards me. I opened my eyes and looked down at Jubilee, who had her wavy dark chocolate brown hair in a ponytail.
“I’m ready,” Jubilee announced.
Sluggishly, I got off the bed and searched my mom’s room to see if I could find any money. Surprisingly I had found two dollars, one under the bed and one on the nightstand next to my mom’s side of the bed. I dragged my feet over to the door that connected my mom’s room to her bathroom.
It was a decent-sized bathroom with an oval tub that was rather deep, and next to that was the toilet. Above the toilet was a three shelved cabinet, and next to that was the sink with a light gray granite countertop and mirror. Underneath the sink, you will find a double-doored cabinet.
“There’s no money in here,” Jubilee said, taunting me.
“Haha, oh ok, well, thanks for telling me.”
I walked into the living room that had two caramel couches in an L shape. The one closest to the dining room table seated two people while the one up against the wall seated three. Both couches have three cream-colored pillows, one on each corner and one in the middle. Across from the smaller couch is another door that leads out to the patio while across from the bigger couch sits the t.v. I made my way to the couches and lifted up the pillows finding one more dollar. Thinking that Jubilee hid money under the couches, I put my knee on the ground. Jubilee walked up to me.
“TT, I didn’t put money under there.”
“Ah, ok, I see,” I said.
My eyes scanned the living room, Jubilee had a 23x21x29 inch movie theater between the couch and the door that led to the patio. It seemed like an excellent place to hide money, I checked it out and ended up with one more dollar.
“You should check the Descendants Two book and the spiral next to the couch.”
Jubilee has a Disney Princess dining table and her Descendants Two book resides there. I picked up the book and flipped through the pages until I found a dollar. When I was done, I waddled over to Jubilee’s green spiral that was on the floor next to the couch. I opened it to the first page.
“I found one more dollar, yay! Let’s see how much money TT has,” I said.
We sat on the couch to count the money.
“If I have six dollars, how much more money do I need to have thirty-six dollars?”
Jubilee took the six dollars and started counting up to thirty-six.
“You need thirty more dollars,” Jubilee said.
I gave Jubilee a high five, and we walked over to the circular dining room table that had four chairs adorning it. Each chair had a cushion, and, on the table, there were four dark grey placemats. I looked for money under the placemats but saw nothing. Yet, under the chair cushions, I found another dollar. On both the left and right sides of the dining table, some bookshelves have been built into the wall. I decided to go to the bookshelves, and Jubilee followed close behind.
“I think there might be something on the bottom shelf.”
I sat on the floor to reach the bottom shelf and found a dollar sticking out between two movie cases.
“Let’s go to the Kitchen.”
Jubilee took my hand and guided me to the kitchen then opened the ash wood pantry door for me, I bent down to look inside. In between two boxes of pasta, I saw a dollar popping out, and I grabbed it. I was then pulled to Jubilee’s kitchen, which is mostly chalk white but has ballet slipper pink trim. The kitchen contains a pantry, sink, dish rack, and washer. I opened the pantry and found a dollar, then I opened the washer and found an additional dollar.
“We should go to mommy and I’s room,” Jubilee said already halfway there.
“Wait, I would like to count the money I have first. Do you want to help me?”
Jubilee and I counted the money.
“I have eleven dollars, so how much more money do I need to get to thirty-six?”
Jubilee looked at me and shrugged her shoulders.
“Well, let’s see what’s thirty-six minus eleven? Why don’t we use our hands to count to thirty-six and find out.”
We started at eleven and worked our way up to thirty-six.
“You have to find twenty-five more dollars,” Jubilee explained.
At this point, I followed Jubilee into her room, which, as soon as you enter the first thing you see is the bathroom. As you make your way down a two-foot hallway, you can see the closet on the other end. To the left most corner was Jubilee’s bed that was covered in a bubble gum pink comforter. In the center of the room was my sister’s queen-sized bed with a coral, pewter grey, and eggshell white comforter that covered it. Next to my sister’s bed was her white desk, and across from the desk was an antique oak dresser. On either side of the dresser, there are two by three white shelves that contain six cubby holes each. This is where Jubilee keeps her toys.
I decided to first look behind the door where I found a dollar. My gaze followed Jubilee as she made her way to my sister’s bed. As soon as I lifted the pillow, a dollar appeared. By this point, Jubilee had gone to her own bed.
“TT, you should come check over here.”
I walked over to Jubilee’s bed and looked under a couple of pillows where I found one more dollar.
“If you go to the closet, you might find some more money.”
As the light came on, I looked down and saw a dollar bill on top of Jubilee’s shoes in her shoe basket.
“There’s more over here.”
When I turned, I saw an open space between the toy shelf on the left side of the dresser and a coloring book that was leaning against it. I pulled out a dollar. Jubilee then took the dollar from my hand.
Her head tilted, and her eyebrows furrowed, “This isn’t the twenty dollars?”
“No, was it supposed to be?”
“Yeah, I thought I put it in there with this one.”
Jubilee bent down and pulled the coloring book away, but the area was empty.
“Food is ready!” My mom called out.
“We have to go eat, but we will look for the twenty dollars when we’re done, ok?”
My mom and sister sat on the couch that seats three while Jubilee and I sat on the couch that seats two. As we ate our dinner, we watched Property Brothers. During commercial breaks, we each took turns talking about our days. When we finished eating, I washed my dishes, put them away, then looked for Jubilee. I found her sitting on her bed.
“Hey, do you want to go look for your twenty dollars?” I asked.
“Yes,” she responded with a hint of worry.
We went into my mom’s room and searched under the pillows, the bed, in the closet, on the nightstand, and in the dresser drawers, but the twenty didn’t turn up.
“Maybe we should go to the living room.”
Jubilee and I walked into the living room and looked under the couches, the couch cushions, in the movie theater, and in the entertainment center. Unfortunately, we both came up empty-handed and decided to give the dining room a try. After minutes of looking under the placemats, the chair cushions, and the bookshelves, we were unable to locate the twenty dollars.
“Let’s try the kitchen,” I said.
I turned on the kitchen light and started looking through the drawers and cabinets while Jubilee searched her own kitchen.
“Have you found it yet?” I asked.
“Neither have I. Let’s try your room and see if we can find it in there.”
We shuffled into Jubilee’s room and decided to split up. Jubilee was going to look through the closet, her mom’s bed, and the desk. I was going to check the bathroom, Jubilee’s bed, and the dresser. After twenty minutes of searching, we still couldn’t find it.
“Do you want to go ask grandma if she has seen the twenty dollars?” I asked.
Starting to feel concerned, both Jubilee and I walked out of her room and over to my mom’s. I knocked on the bedroom door.
“Come in,” My mom said.
“Mom, have you seen Jubilee’s twenty dollars? We can’t find it anywhere.”
“Oh no! I’m sorry, but I haven’t seen it, maybe your sister has.”
“That’s ok. I’ll go ask Cynthia, thanks anyway,” I said.
As we walked out of my mom’s room, I closed the door, and we rushed back to Jubilee’s room. My sister was at her desk talking with her friends.
With her head down and fingers interlocked, Jubilee walked up to my sister, “Mommy.”
“Have you seen my twenty dollars?”
“No, Jubi, I haven’t,” My sister said.
I moved to Jubilee’s bed and sat down, thinking about where she could have possibly put the twenty dollars.
“Where was the last place you were before you went to tell me you were ready? Were you in the living room, the kitchen, your room?” I asked.
“I was in my room.”
“Did you still have the twenty dollars with you when you were in here?”
“Yes,” Jubilee responded.
“Alright, so we know that the money has to be in your room somewhere. Hmm, is it in the bathroom?”
“How do you know that?” I asked.
“Because I didn’t hide any money in there.”
Getting up from Jubilee’s bed, I nodded and kept thinking about where in her room she was when she hid the money.
“Is it in the closet?” I asked.
“No, I only put one dollar in there.”
Feeling defeated, Jubilee laid down on the floor in between her mom’s bed and the dresser.
“Well, I thought it was in between my toy shelf and the coloring book,” Jubilee stated.
Jubilee was silent, looking up at the ceiling fan pondering. Moments later, I saw her tiny little body shoot up.
“I remember where I put the twenty dollars!” Jubilee exclaimed.
Jubilee jumped up, and I watched as she ran to the toy shelf on the left side of the dresser. I saw Jubilee pull out the cubby from the bottom right corner. She took out some toys and moved others around. A moment later, Jubilee’s arm came out of the cubby and in her hand was the twenty-dollar bill.
“You found it! I’m so happy for you munchkin.”
“You see, I wanted to put the twenty dollars in between the toy shelf and the coloring book. But then I thought it would be too easy and I wanted to make it more difficult for you to find. Except I made it so difficult that even I couldn’t find it. Until now, when I remembered that I wanted it to be close to the toy shelf and the coloring book because I thought it was still a good hiding spot.”
“Oh, ok then. Well, the important thing is that you found it.”
“Yeah! Thanks, TT, for your help,” Jubilee smiled.
Jubilee gave me a hug, then ran off to get her cadet blue and pretty watermelon pink purse. She put the thirty-six dollars in it and looked up at me. I saw Jubilee’s dark chocolate brown eyes twinkle as she smiled from ear to ear.
“Thanks for playing with me, TT.”
We never played that game again.