Going to the Bank with Baby

I had to cash a check at the bank yesterday. I’ve usually been to the bank in the late afternoon when it is crowded and busy and confusing. So I braced myself for making the trip with Ellie Jo.

We walked into the dim, cool bank and I was pleasantly surprised to see it almost empty.

We went to the manager so that she could verify and sign my check. There was only one other customer in her office and no line outside. Our turn came; the manager took my check and passport with a smile at Ellie Jo.

“Two months?”


Smile. A few computer clicks. She signs the check and hands it back to me. Wow, we’re really rolling.

Now we take our place on the benches in front of the teller windows. I make a mental note of the faces already seated. The numbered call system is turned off so my memory is the only way to know who is “in line” before me. Several people turn and smile at Ellie Jo. She is snug in the sling and staring solemnly around the room.

The middle teller comes open and she motions to me. I know that she is only cashing checks in Rwandan francs. I shake my head. She smiles and points to the man in the next booth. I smile and nod. He has USD.

I continue to look around the room and guess that there are three other people waiting for the same teller as me. A huge security guard sits down beside us. He reminds me of my cousin Logan and I start to think about my family.


The teller with USD is motioning to me. One of people in line before me is at his window, but he is waving them aside and I can see him say, “Let the momma come.” This is my lucky day.

He quickly cashes the check, I stash the money and we head out to the car. The yellow-shirted parking attendant holds the car door open. The driver waiting in the next car says, “Hi baby!” The man selling bootleg videos pushes Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakqual at me instead of the usual porn.

Maybe I didn’t need to brace myself – we were in and out in half an hour. Ellie Jo makes friends wherever we go and friends make the world go round.

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