Today, if I did my math correctly, is the 50th day since I was given full rights and responsibility for a brand new real live human baby. And let me tell you [warn you], this is the most difficult thing in the world to do. Harder than AP Chem. Harder that Honors Physics. Harder than fighting a crocodile. [For the record, I have never done any of those things.]
On the third day of bringing Little Miss Maya home, Jose [suspiciously] had to work super late, my mom was at work, my brother [free nanny] away, and my next sister decided to go out for the rest of the night. The house was empty and I was sleep deprived. At about 8pm, Maya woke up hungry, but also refused to eat. She cried, Cried, CRIED. Eventually, I set her down on the bed, pulled over a pillow and cried with her. Soon enough, we both fell asleep and set a new record [since her birth] for consecutive hours of sleep.
Since then, my self-esteem has only continued to be battered by this now-7.5-lb baby. I have realized how unskilled I am at caring for a human…including myself. Things that seem obvious have turned out to be so complex. Just look at the things I have had to google these past weeks:
-How to bathe baby.
-How to feed baby.
-How big is my baby’s stomach?
-Why do I have to burp my baby?
-How do I know if my baby is constipated?
-Is it normal for my baby to stop breathing?
-Why does my baby hate me?
Prior to this child being pulled out early from my sliced up belly, I had made multiple to-do lists and guides on how to take off on this race to the top. - MY CHILD WAS GOING TO BE AWESOME: POTTY TRAINED AT ASAP MONTHS, READING AT A 100-GRADE-LEVEL AND SETTING NEW STANDARDS FOR MUSIC PRODIGIES. - After burning those lists in shame for my folly, I made sure to thank BABY JESUS for giving me an annoying brother that is patient with children, two old-school grandmas regardless of the questionable practices they suggest for baby-raising, and a husband so intent at beating me in the parenting category that he is willing to spend sleepless feeding marathons so he can later rub them in my face [while I sleep, so technically, he is the sucker].
Meanwhile, my only measurable success has come from getting 15+ likes on multiple cropped and filtered baby pictures on instagram. Today, I will sleep one more hour and then rise and shine and plan my day around a nursing coaching session at the WIC with some other clueless young female parents. And hopefully, someday Little Miss Maya will appreciate my existence if only for a couple of seconds.
Undocumented and unafraid.
I must confess that I am documented, but sometimes, I am still afraid. I am afraid of la migra and my heart and stomach do a little jump when I spot their vans Downtown or near the airport. I shouldn’t be, I have the magic little papers to fight them off. But having come across so many bigoted and power-hungry officials, I can’t help but to wonder how far they will go to keep people “in line.”
Today, 8 youth demonstrated just how unafraid they are of ICE. Supporting them were countless other undocumented individuals both on this side of the Nogales, AZ/Sonora fence and the other. The 8 DREAMers presented letters stating that they considered the US home and that because they qualified for DACA, they should be allowed back. ICE took no time to arrest them and may possibly, as they themselves threatened in a statement, deport them back to Mexico.
The amazing thing, however, is that this protest was organized recently - I heard about it about a week ago - by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance. But at the last moment, about 30 additional DREAMers showed up at the line on the Mexico side. That is evidence of how many DREAMers Obama keeps deporting despite his administration already having [supposedly] opened a path for qualifying youth.
One thing is for sure, however: when you know something is wrong, such as all the deportations Obama keeps facilitating, you must stand up, and you must be unafraid.
Anonymous asked: Go get documented you wack ass blogger. Oh yeah before I for get....'MERICA MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!!!!!
Falling in a rut is easier than one may think.
Today, I will go pick up my roughly $900 paycheck. I will cross the street and cash it at a PLS (because if I put it in the bank, they will put a stupid hold on it), and I will return $795 along with $250 my husband gave me and ask a for two money orders. One money order will be for a prorated rent amount and the other will be to add to a deposit. This paycheck will cover 31 more days at my new apartment. I will have about $100 left and this I will use to pay for my mom’s and my phone bill. In the end, I will have about $10 left and I will go buy discounted bus tokens from a lady in a swap meet so I can get to work and home until my next paycheck.
If the 17th or the 3rd fall on a Saturday, I have to wait two extra days to get paid. If Monday happens to be an official holiday, I have to add one more day to that wait. I am not the only one in my household that is working, and yet I still find myself living paycheck to paycheck. If one day I happened to lose my job, or no longer be able to perform it, I would be left on the street with no financial means to pull myself out of that hole anytime soon.
About two months ago, my mom announced that she wanted to move into an apartment she had found around the corner from her church. None of us like her church and the idea of moving a block’s distance was yucky. But mom is the mom and she’s recently been through a lot of hell, so we decided that we’d do this for her. I went to talk to the manager of that building, showed him all our pay stubs, paid $60 for the applications and tried my best to use my Duke Alum card to bump us to the front of the line. He said we should not worry - that amount of money presented was solid and for sure we would get the apartment. Unfortunately, he lied.
That evening, I turned in a 30-day notice to our former manager; our lease was done anyway and it was time to move on. Two days later, the manager returned a receipt for our rent and letter, but I received no calls from our soon-to-be manager. I waited. And waited. And waited. Two weeks before the next month, he finally called - “Everything was in order, but your credit…we can’t work with that.” I felt a punch to the gut mainly because I knew mom would be sad that she wasn’t going to be near her gold-digging church. That night, however, I received an even bigger punch when I asked the manager to allow us one more month since our connection had fallen through and she said it was impossible since a new tenant had actually just signed a lease to begin in about 10 days. The move was now inevitable.
Feeling the pressure increase, we all begun to look for apartments. We had not hunted for one in a while, but what we found was yet another disgusting business that takes advantage of the community. In the past, we had always negotiated directly with the manager and in a matter or minutes would know if an apartment was ours or not. Today, however, we were charged $20-$30 per person over 18 years old (that’s 4 of us) to fill out an application where we disclosed all number series that held the secrets to our pasts (SSN, Bank Acct #s, Credit Card #s, IDs etc). We also provided copies of recent pay stubs to prove we had a means to pay for these roofed spaces. Three more times we were denied because of a negative credit history I had accumulated in a hospital emergency while in college. One of those times, I’m pretty sure the manager charged us for an application to an apartment that was not even available.
Our last recourse was with my mom’s boss, an old lady that was the manager a building two blocks from us. A second reason we had wanted to move was so we could get some distance between this lady and my mom. Mom was working for this lady, and this lady was paying her $4/hour. I had tried to sue this lady through the Labor Commission before, but mom almost had a breakdown as a result and so I stopped. Now, we were in a position were we needed the help of this despicable lady. But again, we were tricked. I was in class one evening with my sister when I got a call from the owner in which she stated that because of my credit, they could not rent a $900/mo apartment to us (our monthly income is in the $2500s). I hung up and cried and my sister missed the whole class to keep me company.
That night, I swallowed my pride and asked our former manager for help - we’d been having zero luck! She took two days to answer my text, but in the end she took pity and gave us an extra week extension (at $250ish, of course). I began to make plans: mom and my sister would move out with some friends or neighbors and Jose and I would possibly move into the garage his mom was currently inhabiting as an apartment. We would put all our stuff in a Public Storage and who knows when we’d all be back together, if we were ever all back together. All my money was gone, I felt really depressed, and I cried a lot because my big fat pregnant belly made manager’s think twice about renting out to me.
"Luckily" for my mom, sister and I, Jose, with all the privilege assigned to him as a man, was able to get us an apartment on his first try (he had left the work to us because he was out working Monday through Sunday 6am to about 7pm). The manager he talked with was able to relate to his manliness and it also helped that I successfully played my role of child-wife by standing quietly behind Jose while the men talked business (even though it is always I that takes care of paperwork, transactions and budgeting).
In the end, I am happy. I have a roof over my head, a roof over my mom and sister’s head, and a shower with running water. Two weeks after moving in, I was able to buy a small fridge and stove as well as a brand new toaster oven for my mom. Last weekend, I was able to buy window screens and nail in the sheets to the windows were this manager had so conveniently forgotten to install them. But in the end, I am also bitter. I am bitter because my money was stolen in this stupid new apartment shopping business that sometimes sells applications even when the supply is not available. I am angry because it is I that takes care of our group’s finances and lead our crowd through all these hoops, yet these businesses could care less and they instantly label me as irresponsible based on a number assigned to me. And lastly, I am also disappointed that my sex and belly worked against me even with credentials that are supposed to help me such as a college-degree from a well-known institution and a job with a salary. In a perfect world, where I could discard of the members of my family that depend on me (and I on them), I would fight with all I have. But in this real world, I feel defeated, and I am forced to whisper through my grinding teeth “it is what it is…?”