Tuesday, August 3, 2010
When you shop to just squeak by until payday, it is almost like you are shopping for "the end". Like we are entering some underground bunker, and figuring what we are going to need to get by. How much food will each person consume, and how long will we be in there for. I feel like I am in a bunker. I have been unable to go anywhere, as I am trying to conserve gas. I have been rationing food and drinks the last few days. The girls are constantly hungry. As soon as breakfast is over, they are begging for a snack. I offer fruit. They want something of the salty variety. I refuse. They whine. We fight. And so it goes. They eat constantly, and it makes me stressed. I wish we were like snakes, and ate once a month. I try and keep the peace and calm, here in our above ground bunker, until we may crack the door open to see the light of payday.
I had to figure in how many breakfast, lunches and dinners would need to be made. I had to consider how many slices of bread would be needed. I had to consider how many times on average does Molly poop in her diaper, and how many baby wipes were needed to wipe her butt in these calculations. I had a half package of the brand name diapers that I use for her. She has a really sensitive butt. She was born with a diaper rash. It took six months to clear, and finally zinc treatments taken orally were the only thing to make it go away. I had my husband go back to the store and buy the store brand of diapers, because it is and always has been one of my worst fears, to run out of diapers and have no money. So David paid $4.99 for a package of 27 diapers. If these work, I thought, this could really help out reducing costs around here. I tried one out on her. They looked and felt the same. After she was in one for a round, I went to change her, pulled off the diaper, and lo and behold....the start of a rash. Unbelievable. Why can't cheap still be good? Like the loaf of bread for .99 cents. Why has it gone stale and crumbly in 2 days? Like the 4 rolls of toilet paper you get from the dollar store. Why, in one use of the toilet, is it gone?
I had to fill my paper work out the other day, to "renew" our food stamp benefits. They ask you a million questions about everyone in your home. They want to make sure that none of your information has not changed. They ask about each one of your children. The first few questions were name and S.S. # and address...easy. The next few really upset me, though. They asked if the girls were homeless. They then asked if they were runaways. They then asked if they were still living at the provided address, or had they been placed into a foster home. I could not read the questions anymore. My eyes stung with the sudden overflow of tears. Can't we just be going through a hard time right now? Can't we just need a little help, for a short amount of time, and will repay the kindness of this help in years to come over and over? Is there a place on the form that I can explain this? Where I can say that we are from great families, and are educated, and that my husband lost his job last year, like so many Americans, and he had to take a much lower paying job, and until he leaves us for 6 months, a seperation that will break all of our hearts, we just need a little help buying crumbly bread? Where is the area that I can explain that my children are not, and never will be homeless, or runaways, or wards of the state? Where is the "just having a tough time right now" box that I can check off?
Day two in the bunker. My girls have calenders in their rooms, and each day, they put an X through the day when it is done.
This makes me sad.