Anyways Pop Pop, aka my dad, flew in on Saturday night and Hubby left Sunday morning. So we chatted a bit. Hubby made some mentioning of not being poor. And my dad asked him "well, did you get the earned income credit on your taxes." You see my dad is a retired IRS agent. He knows codes. Funny fact, because my mother (also tax extrodinare but not was not an agent) does my parent's taxes.
Okay back to story. Hubby thinks for a minute and says "yes, I think so." So he goes to double check and my dad puts on his spectacles and looks it over and declares "well, according to the government. You are poor. You earned the earned income tax credit. So you're poor." And so I say to them, "well, if that's true then we should qualify for WIC." "Well, Hubby says, "I think you should go see and find out."
So today I grab the kids and head down to the local WIC office. My thought process is that this is ridiculous. We are not poor. We are doing decently although eating our savings through and through. We have a car. We own property even though it's worth is a lot less than we paid for it. We are not poor. We can't possible qualify for WIC even though my husband earns less at his current job than he would if he worked in the public school system as a teacher with the degrees that he has (we have better benefits I think).
I hand her my id and a copy of the tax return and half expect her to come forward shaking her head and tell us because of line whatever code whatever we don't qualify. But she doesn't. Instead she brings us all back to be weighed and measured and found (in the area of financial income) to be wanting. My mind is reeling. What?! We are poor. That can't be possible. It doesn't make sense to me. We're not living in a shelter or out of car. How can we be poor? She hands me all the paper work for getting the supplemental food for the month and sends us on our way.
And I spend the rest of the day trying to wrap my head around it. Did I miss something? I didn't lie. That was all she needed. Are we really poor? No, we can't be. We have a computer and internet and a television (albeit not a flat screen or anything). It's not true. We're not poor.
Even Hubby was flabbergasted. The government just gave us a chunk of change for having two children and now they are giving us more. That doesn't make sense. Getting a huge tax refund alone means we shouldn't qualify. How can this be? Hubby declares that it's now incumbent upon us that we give back to the community. He doesn't think it's right that we, who seem to manage alright with a few luxuries like this computer I'm typing on and the internet connection I'm using, should be using up tax payer money to try and slice out bits of our huge grocery bill. My dad tries and reassure us both by saying he'd rather his taxes go to us than other people who are milking the system. I'm not satisfied. I keep thinking soon Hubby may get another grant and then we can stop this insanity because we are not poor.
Going out the parking lot. I was a stressed out mess. And to top it all, my toddler decides his life is worthless and tries to kill himself via vehicular suicide. He darts out into the parking lot and makes for a side street. Despite my father having had to chase him once. No he does this again to my shrieks. I immediately grabbed him hosted him up and made him looking at my sobbing face (which he couldn't bring himself to do). I told him that he scared me to death and this game of chase was oh so not cool. Mommy is trying to keep him alive and healthy; that's why she went to WIC today.
And when dad brought in the groceries later, my child tried to make his way to the parking lot (fortunately we have a plethora of speed bumps to prevent people from going nuts). I shrieked again. This time I think he figured it out that my shrieks meant something because he froze in his tracks and I brought him inside. And then kissed him and thanked him profusely for listening to me.
So my heart is all a flutter. And I stubbornly refuse to believe that as educated people with a roof over our heads with money in the bank, that we are poor. Even if the government disagrees.
Oh, if you're wondering. My husband's on a business trip. His job sent him to the conference. But I still don't think we're poor.