Today was child maintenance day in my household, and that kind of wrapped up a big week for our family.
Today and yesterday my youngest child was on the news discussing the park that she goes to. I have to go to work every single day. Where I work does not care that we’re having a global pandemic and so we’re definitely not allowed to stay home so I am showing up every single day. I have about 100 vacation days spanked which frankly I’m storing up because I’m about ready to stomp out. But that, is a whole different story.
[ a href=”https://www.nbclosangeles.com/education/”%5D the interview >[/]
I think I probably made this point before, the week before Darla started kindergarten in fact. But childcare is the only reason that I can work. I can’t stay home and still pay for rent and phone and food and food stamps would not be enough to live on with two people. I know that cuz I’ve tried before.
Darla is able to go to a camp put on by the city of Los Angeles and do her online learning, have lunch, do arts and crafts, and exercise. Most importantly she gets to socialize with other people who are not me. Awesome as I am I should not be anybody’s only company.
But here’s the kicker. She could not have enrolled in this camp if I didn’t have a computer. I couldn’t call and enroll her in this camp I had to go onto a website which by the way, that website hates me. That website and I are mortal enemies. when I die, no matter how many decades in the future, I expect that website to come and find a way to grow legs and dance on my tombstone because it hates me so much and it’s so difficult to use.
moms and Dad’s on welfare who don’t have access to the internet can’t get their kids on the internet and wouldn’t even know to look to enroll their kids in camp. Fortunately there were news articles this week about camp but they didn’t tell how to enroll your kid. ABC tried to turn the piece into a hit shot on the school district. NBC did a better piece but not a helpful piece for walking people through the enrollment process.
I was only informed about this camp because I remained friends with the director of my local park from when she saved my butt by enrolling Darla there for after kindergarten care.
I remember pacing behind the Santa Clarita DPSS office where I worked and sweating it out. Trying to figure out how I could make sure my child was cared for so that I could go to job day after day so I could go to school because I was starting grad school at the same time. It’s a single parent and child support to joke unless you think $380 a month is enough for a kid. These parks are $150 a week which * 4 is $600 (I don’t know I can’t do math).
But today I was also able to pop her into the car and drive her all the way to diamond bar where her doctor is. Her pediatrician moved from Baldwin Park to Diamond Bar and I am so lucky to be able to take the time and have the means and mowed to get that far to take her to go see Dr Yam. I’m lucky that we have Kaiser so she has quality medical care. I’m lucky that I have a job that pays for Delta dental so that I can take her to the dentist of my choosing which, is Tri-City smiles in Hacienda Heights.
With my first child I had to take the bus everywhere or rely on my mom for rides. I finally got a car but it was a 1974 Chevy Bel Air. I had to take her to Western dental which I still believe to be the worst place ever for dental care. I went from clinic to clinic based on whatever health insurance my medical got put under, was Molina care it was blue shield it was Kaiser for kids. I couldn’t have a regular pediatrician that she saw all the time and who knew her and could give her that feeling of being seen and understood and having her medical history really known.
Moms and dads and kids who are homeless right now don’t have these luxuries. when we say that America is a land of opportunity we should be able to say it’s the land of equal opportunity, but it just isn’t.
Right now I’m watching the political system unravel and people talking about the 1% and the 98% and the poor people. They’re talking about defending Social security they’re talking about defunding Social security. They’re talking about taking away Medi-Cal and food stamps. They’re talking about forcing people to work when there aren’t enough jobs here for them to work at the skill levels that they have. Also, please keep in mind, we’re still in a global pandemic. Are we saying that lesser skilled people have less intrinsic value and therefore it’s okay to put them at risk and let them die?
I am so lucky to be an entitled parent. I am also very lucky to have been a poor parent – and here I mean income wise no matter what my oldest child will tell you. It gives me depth and bredth and a whole perspective on the privilege I have.