Friday, September 14, 2012

Money money money... mon-ay!

The theme song from The Apprentice has been running through my head all week.

Talk about cash money
Dollar bills, y'all

I've been in a bit of a funk the last few days over really wanting to do something that I know I can't right now.  Who am I kidding, a couple somethings... but it did start with one big thing... and then it just sort of spiraled from there with a few other things.  It totally sucks when money stops you from doing things.  (And no, bloggers are not rolling in the dough contrary to popular belief.)

And from there - because you know there is more where that came from - I got a spontaneous lecture from my 6 year old last night (and again this morning) about how he was still waiting for us to take him to 'hotel house' in New Hampshire because we didn't do that this summer like usual.  I wanted to scream there I things I want to do too you know.  But I didn't. 

I just nodded my head and said We will see, OK?

After he finished breakfast this morning, his eyes lit up and he asked me again when breakfast in the classroom would be starting.  Oh how I hate the thought of that.  I know how terrible it might sound.  I don't like the thought of hungry kids anywhere.  And yes I know how bad the economy is... but I hate that schools end up having to provide free breakfasts - and lunches - and snacks (depending on where you live) to kids because their parents don't take care of it at home.  Oh and dental care... don't get me going on that one.

A huge difference from where we were last year, my kids are now at a school that will be handing out fruits and veggies at snack time here and there, as well as implementing breakfast in the classroom soon.  That's right, shortly we will be expected to get our kids to school 20 minutes earlier a day, so they can all sit in class together to eat breakfast and start working at the same time.  So more kids will eat.  And it seriously kills me.

My 6 year old is all excited for a second breakfast every day and this morning I finally broke a little.  I sat him down and tried hard to find the right words.  I explained that his school will be offering that because there are a lot of kids who go there that don't get breakfast in the morning... that their Mommy and Daddy might not be able to afford much food and that is why the school gives out breakfast.  He looked shocked.

I went on to explain that when the new program starts, I do not want him eating two full breakfasts every morning.  If he gets to school and decides that he is still a little hungry, it is totally OK to eat... and I am fine with it if he wants to grab a juice and a piece of fruit every day ... but that he doesn't need two breakfasts every morning.  I asked him if he understood.

He looked all teary and nodded yes.  Mommy I feel so bad.

Why baby?

I have lots of friends that need to eat breakfast at school.  What happens to them on the weekend, what do they do for dinner every night?

And this is what I didn't think far enough ahead about.  How do you even answer that

I told him I was sure they had enough food for that, this just helps.  I went on to tell him that each time Mommy and Daddy say we don't have money - we do have money.  We have money for the house, the car, food every week... all of the things that we need most.  We put him in sports when we can.  We have money for a donut or a smoothie here and there ... and sometimes a matchbox car or something else he and his brothers want at Target.  For lack of a better word, I explained how lucky we are to have all the things that we need, when so many other people don't have enough.

I told him that when I say we don't have money, it means we can't always do all the extra things that we would like to.  And for being only 6, I could see in his eyes that he understood me.  He gave me a big hug and told me he loved me.  I reminded him that this isn't something we talk about in school because we would never want to make friends feel bad and he agreed.  I wouldn't Mommy.

My sweet boy.

This conversation has stuck with me all day.  I'm trying to see it as some sort of sign that I had to talk to him like this before school today.  And I am trying hard to take my own advice.  We are so much better off ... I do know that.  But sometimes it still sucks not to be able to do everything you want to.


  1. What a heavy load for you to both be carrying. It's so difficult to tread lightly but still try to get them to understand. Sounds like your little guy has a big heart and I'm sure he'll be sharing his "extra" breakfast! Great job on explaining, XO

    1. thanks tera! i had no idea how to start explaining that to him. xoxo

  2. {{{HUGS}}} It can be so hard sometimes, and sometimes it just isn't fair - or at least it feels that way. I think you handled the situation wonderfully - I have been on the side of the system where, if my kids were in public school at the time, we would have embraced the free breakfast, and probably have qualified for the free lunches as well. I think you handled the situation beautifully - you told him as much as a 6 year old can handle.

    1. thank you liz! i hope you don't think i am against free lunches and breakfasts all together, i totally want kids who need it to be able to have it. i am just frustrated by so many things lately... and seeing the differences between schools has been surprising to me, i can't lie. xoxo

  3. Just an fyi, gc has had free breakfast for everyone before school for years. Also, free lunch for those who qualify.

    1. i did know they had that dawn. and i am totally cool with kids going in for breakfast early. what they are implementing where we are now is that all kids will HAVE to be in the classroom by 8:40 (even though its a 9am school) to sit and eat breakfast as a class - while they also start to teach.

  4. Huh, why??? What abt bus kids who arrive at 9 on The dot? What if your schedule does not allow you to?

    1. i know dawn, right? there aren't many bussed kids from what i can tell but still. i am hating on that HAHA