Mike has a new name this week. Grumpy Old Bear. My boys think he’s lost his mind but I know, he’s sick. REALLY sick. 103 degrees of sick! Poor man is so sick he can barely stand but he still is trying to do housework.
This has brought a dynamic into the house that the boys have never seen before. Mom is taking charge and commanding Grumpy Old Bear to go to bed. Mama Bear is not taking any crap from baby bears and they are behaving.
It’s amazing, to me, how this house is run when I’m able to be the one in charge. Patches have been placed on Middle Bears jacket sleeve where he’d ripped a seven inch slab off his inner arm. I threw on 6 patches and wondered why those things don’t come in rolls that we can just cut off what we need instead of using multiple patches. I guess people don’t “normally” patch holes that large but damn, it’s two WEEKS before payday and we don’t have money to buy milk or bread much less a jacket.
I got up this morning and G.O.B. was outside smoking a cigarette and leaning against his motorcycle. He looked like death and was talking incoherently so I chased him off to bed, slathered Vicks on his chest, gave him meds and checked his temp. 102.4 under the arm. I know, add a degree… I’m seriously worried about him.
Went into the kitchen and discovered we’re out of milk and he hadn’t gotten any from the freezer. I went and got a gallon and, grumping, set it on the counter to thaw.
Dan comes into the kitchen complaining that he’s hungry. I swear the kid is ALWAYS hungry or eating! I tell him there’s boiled eggs in the fridge but he wants cereal. When I tell him there’s no milk, he throws a fit that ends up with him in tears. Half an hour later he comes to me holding a pack of Ramen noodles. “Sorry mom, it’s not your fault there’s no milk, it’s mine. I should have gotten a gallon out before you got up but I forgot. It’s on me. Can I make some noodles?” I hug him and say yes.
Today we had Ramen noodles for brunch. I splurged and made a loaf of bread and that gave us sandwiches for the next two days. If the boys don’t eat us out of house and home!
When the boys were under the age of 5, we were able to get help with food through WIC. They NEVER ate all the food and by the time they were each weaned off formula, I had a half dozen canisters that I gave away to other needy mommies. Now, when we are trying to feed teenage children who eat nonstop and NEED the food, we can’t get any help. We are all dependent on Social Security to make ends meet. Because we make 200 dollars more per month than the government allows, we can’t get food stamps. We go to food banks twice a month in order to feed the kids.
I eat once a day. When I eat, I feel guilty because I know, eventually, the food will come to an end and my babies won’t have anything to eat the last few days of the month. Our light bill alone was almost 200 dollars this month because of having to run the heater. Thank Heavens we’ve gotten a respite from the freezing weather this week so I shut off the heat. I’ve set the temperature to a chilly 50 degrees because of the price of heat. The shut off notices are piling up. Thank Heavens they can’t shut us off because I’m dependent on oxygen.
I honestly have to wonder why, in this day, in THIS country, are people going hungry? Why does it cost more to light a two bedroom apartment than it takes to feed an entire family of four?