(Broke) Mother of the Year

As of this moment, Mia is *suffering* from a stye in her eye and Merrick is struggling with seasonal allergies brought on by the gloriousness of autumn. Both are at home with me and we’re waiting to hear back from our pediatrician, who will call us with an appointment time during which he will most likely try to lance the junk out of that stye and I’ll have to deal with a permanently-screaming 7-year-old. (Ear piercing was cakewalk compared to what’s coming.) I’m listening to the sounds of what can only be my small children jumping from the couch to the coffee table and back, no doubt hyped up on massive amounts of crack cocaine.

Smokey has fully recovered. We’ve not yet reached the 2-week mark post-surgery, but I can say with all confidence that he’s back to his old self. He’d love to gobble everything in sight. He wants to run and jump and play and wrestle so bad that I can taste it. He drags me across the yard on his leash during his all-too-frequent potty breaks. He’s supposed to be on bed-rest for dogs, y’all. That means he’s either eating one of his 4 small daily meals, slowly leash-walking around the yard, or laying pitifully in his crate–hating on me, his buzz-killing warden who triple-doses him on tranquilizing pills for no reason other than to see how much doggie medication we can waste in one day.

But we love him.

I guess.

Marching season is in full swing and I am having trouble remembering why I thought it was awesome that Cheyenne joined band back in the fifth grade. Let me tell you–there’s more money being thrown out left and right for this gig than I ever imagined possible for any school-related sport or club. Uniforms, t-shirts, contests, competitions, concerts, football games, basketball games, buy our cookie dough, buy our candy bars, buy our wrapping paper and our candles. I know that being involved in band has done wonders for my daughter, including–but certainly not limited to–opening her mind to the joys of flute-playing…but when you’re already financially drained, the constand demand for yet another $12.50 is like salt in an open, bloody wound. What about poor kids? They’re probably having to sell candy bars in their sleep just to keep up!

And I love how different people asking for your money cheerfully offer a variety of financial programs. “Oh, that’s okay!” says the dentist, who’s recommending $6,000 worth of braces for the hundredth time that afternoon. “They can work out a payment plan!”

“What? A payment plan? Oh, wow! Well that changes everything! So, I don’t have the money up front–no big whoop! I’ll just sign my soul in blood right here right now! Because $6000 spread out over 10 years is soooo much better–it’s like peeling off a bandaid really, really slowly!”

“You’re right, ma’m. Thank you for your business. That will be $250 a month, plus interest.”

“I was thinking more like $12.50 a month with no interest.”

“Then we were thinking more like we will repossess your child’s mouth.”

“Couldn’t I wash dishes or sell cookie dough?”

“No. But we do offer indentured servant programs, where you and your family are physically obligated to clean the orthodontist’s yacht from top to bottom every weekend for the rest of your lives.”

“Though that sounds fantastic–and it really does–we’d much rather bleed money through the nose. And that’s worth it, because nothing says ‘mother’s love’ like gluing metal brackets on ever-so-slightly crooked teeth.”

I’m sorry; I’m not meaning to sound bitter. I love my kids. I’d like to spare no expense. I don’t know how possible that is. My thought right now is that if they all love Jesus and make it through high school with fairly decent grades, I’ve done my part.

And that’s a step up from my goal of just keeping them alive until my husband got home from work on a day-to-day basis.

Go me.


About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

One response to “(Broke) Mother of the Year

  • birdonthestreet (@birdonthestreet)

    I’m still in the keeping them alive until my husband comes home phase. And you are so right about the money!!! Charlie’s school asks for money constantly, and you know, I really don’t spare any expense when it seems like something that will help him long-term, but t-shirts and a lot of the other junk doesn’t really qualify in my mind.

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