Saturday, February 28, 2009

Three Months

Last week marked the three month anniversary of it all; the realization that something is wrong, my mom's collapse, my dad taking her to the ER, the scan, the initial diagnosis, and yesterday, the surgery.

On the mindfuck continuum I think three months? That's all? On the we can hope for a year timeline, three months are gone and never coming back.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Predatory Lending Hits Home

Here are a few words I never imagined stringing together: MY FIVE YEAR OLD NEEDS A BAILOUT.

We get a "final notice" from the school breakfast/lunch program today. Funny, I don't remember seeing a first notice. Seems the Cracker, who, by the way, has breakfast at home every day and takes a sack lunch every day has ***unpaid*** breakfast bills.

It's gotta be a mistake. Right?

"Have you been having a second breakfast at school?"
"Nothing." Looks at his feet.

Let me try this again.

Excitedly, "So whadya have?"
"Oh! It's great! They always have toast, and time we even had pancakes!"
"How did you pay for it?"
"Well, I didn't have any money soooooo Gaige taught me how to charge it."

Excuse for a moment while I choke.
Charge? It?

Face drops, guilt-ridden. "But they don't let me anymore, because I didn't pay my bill."


Some details:

He knows now that it was wrong, and he feels bad.

From what I know, it isn't the school directly, but a private contractor that runs the meal programs.

But then again, we've never used these programs before, so what the fuck do I know.

It's definitely breakfast, not lunch. He's not pitching his lunch and playing if you don't give me school lunch I won't eat today.

What if he had food allergies? Like eggs or something? Dairy? Gluten? Wheat?

When this is happening is a mystery to us. He gets on the bus at 8:41. The bus arrives at 8:50. Kindergartners are escorted off by their teachers, who then take them to line up and enter the school no later than 8:55. School officially begins at 9. So...? We'd always assume the breakfast program took place during before care hours, you know, the before school child care program for kids whose parents work. I don't work. But again, what the fuck do I know? Apparently, not a whole lot.

Yes, I am PMSing right now. Thanks for noticing. I am so friggin bloated.

The bottom line: We, his parents, did not authorize it.

I should add right here that we live a cash only lifestyle and have since 2003. We do not charge anything, not for the miles, not for the rewards, not for the cash back. Nothing. Airplane tickets and other higher priced items go on our debit cards. We have extra cash in our easy to get to savings for emergencies. We do not even have charge cards in our names, initially because once paid off we didn't want to be tempted, but now because we haven't found a reason for needing them.

The grand damage is a whopping $3.15, 3 meals at $1.05 a piece. But never before has there been so much principle involved! Principle people!

You can bet your sweet ass I'm going to the school about this. Assuming it is an independent contractor and not his school that would take a loss, the Cracker can fork over $3.15 in previously owned Matchbox cars. You go around allowing kindergartners to open a new charge account without their parent's permission and I think you deserve to be burned.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

It's Good to be Home

(Audio only. Transcript follows.)

Why yes, yes he did.

Answering machine message:
"Hi, this is XXX, the school nurse at XXX Elementary School. Just wanting to touch base with you in regards to the fact that I saw [the Cracker] today. Nose bleed. Ummm...I think he may have, possibly, put a pencil up into his nose..."