Growing up, I saw my parents struggle, live paycheck to paycheck and after my parents divorced I watched my mom take on as many as three jobs at a time to make ends meet. My parents worked hard and would probably die before asking for help. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree as I too am too prideful to ask for help and I vowed to myself that I would not have to struggle like my parents did. I went to college, got a great degree and a great job and to me, I made lots of money. Life is funny though, and somehow, we felt the need to give that up, to go on one income. Even still, Clint makes good money, we won't struggle to put food on the table etc. Yes, there won't be as many vacations and material things, but somehow I'm thinking we won't really miss that.
So, back to the prideful business. Foster kids 5 and under qualify for WIC. So, Mr. T qualifies to get formula through WIC. Can we afford it without WIC? Of course, but hey, if they are going to offer it, why not put that money towards spoiling him in other ways :) But that means, having to go get it. I had NO idea how it worked. Mr. T had a doctor appt. on Friday and the WIC office was next door so I thought, why not run by and get us signed up? Oh, how wrong I was! Nope, need an appt. They could get me in Monday morning. Okay, I can handle that because Clint was going to burn a vacation day that day anyway and then I could leave Mr. T with him. Front desk guy though insisted that Mr. T had to be present, despite the hospital waiver saying he didn't have to be due to his prematurity. So, I admit to going in a little ticked off because I may be slightly over protective when it comes to Mr. T!
Sunday, I came down with a major sore throat and body aches. I had Clint do the night feedings so that I could avoid contact. When I got up Monday, Clint was in a mood and ranting at me because he didn't sleep because Mr. T wouldn't sleep. Again, not helping my attitude. Poor Clint, he just hasn't learned the little tricks that help Mr. T sleep. That, and Clint just doesn't do well with broken sleep.
Anyway, so I show up grumpy, feeling like poo, and staring down anyone who even so much as looks at Mr. T. They of course had to weigh and measure him. Again, I may be a little OCD when it comes to Mr. T, but I will NOT let him get sick on my watch, so I was sporting some nice gloves and face mask when handling him. I'm sure they all thought I was a freak. In total, I was there for 2.5 hours! It was pure agony. Everyone was nice, but I hate having to go over a million times on how to properly feed a baby and wash/sterilize bottles. That, and having it stressed to me that this was supplemental and to save up to buy the remainder was hard to swallow too. In the end we made it out with our Lone Star card, yay!
But then it came time to USE said Lone Star card. I went to Wally World to do some grocery shopping and pick up his formula for the month. They were completely OUT! Argh! So, came home, dropped off groceries, ate dinner, and then headed out again. Target was the closest to us so I headed there. I looked for the WIC signs on the doors but didn't see them. I then walked back to the formula and they had several cans. Great! But I wasn't seeing the WIC markers. I didn't want to go up to the cashier and ask about it in front of everyone. So, I found an old woman that worked for Target that was stocking stuff in the baby dept. I quietly asked her if they took WIC/LS. She then gets on her walkie-talkie, "HEY, DO WE GOT WIC HERE?!" Oh Lordy, kill me now! I quickly made it look like I wasn't the one asking as I pretended to shop for baby clothes. She of course didn't know so I had to brave the cashiers. I get to the front and there is a cashier all by herself, great! I ask if they take Lone Star. "HEY, DO WE TAKE LONE STAR?!" she shouts over to another cashier. Ugh! The lady replies back that they do. So, scan my many cans of formula and then try to use my card. Nope! They don't have the card reader she tries a few different things and then turns on her 'light' to get some assistance. By this time, people are lining up behind me and I just want to DIE! By the time the helper comes by, they of course say they can't take it and I have to walk out empty handed.
So, next closest, Albertson's. I once again, don't see the WIC stickers on the door. I got back to the formula though and see the WIC markers. Praise the Lord! I grab my allotted cans and head to the front. The cashier sees the cans and they aren't the typical WIC cans because Mr. T is on special formula due to his prematurity. So, she questions me about it and I tell her that WIC approved it. "Well, go ahead and try then, we had trouble with Lone Star earlier." Fabulous! Anyway, she rings them up and I slide in my card and it works! Woohoo! In my excitement and desperate need to flee the scene I rip out my card. "Whoa! What happened? See, it screwed up again!" But it was working, I just took out my card. "What? You can't take out your card until it says so. Let me get some assistance." Seriously? I'm sorry, I'm a foster mom, I don't know how this works! Yeah, I'm not sure blurting out that I was a foster mom was helping my case as people tend to have a pretty negative view of foster families as well (in it for the money, yada yada). But people were lining up again and I had to say something! I put my card back in and made sure to NOT remove it until the little machine said so and then dashed to my car!
I came home and told Clint about my escapades. While I was thoroughly embarassed, I had to laugh at myself too. Pride, it can be an evil thing!