Wednesday, January 20, 2010

US Census Brief: Children of Single Parents, How They Fare

More than 25% of America's children live with one parent.

Never-married parents are significantly younger than divorced parents and tend to have fewer levels of school completed and significantly lower levels of income.

Of the children living with a never-married parent less than two thirds of those parents have completed high school.

In 1995 78% of children living with never-married parents lived in rental homes.

69% of children living with never-married mothers live below the poverty line.

There are 7.4 million children living with single moms who do not have jobs.

Children living with never-married mothers were twice as likely 59% to have unemployed mothers.

Of the 19 million children of single parents....ONLY 0.6% of the never-married mothers have an income greater than $40,000 annually.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

T Says...

T is dancing and singing to some horrible song on his clock radio and it's not even 8 a.m. I've overslept, but feel amazing for the lack of interruption, my ringer off I missed several calls and forgot to set the alarm.

The dogs are prancing around, little claws digging in to bare exposed toes, knowing something here isn't quite right.

It's a snow day, but I still have to work and T and I are fit to be tied; the two of us dramatically celebrating and grumbling about our fates.

Eventually he dresses himself, brushes his teeth and goes downstairs, chores await. I slide into the shower, a few solitary minutes while he lets the dogs out, then feeds them before multiple heads peer into either side of the shower curtain, or he decides, like every morning to come in, take a poop.

I hear screaming, just as I lather my hair:

There's unusual emphasis there, I note, and stick my head outside the shower, soap falling into my eyes:
What honey? What do you need? I'm in the shower....

My voice trails off. He responds:

OMGosh you HAVE GOT to get down here and see this RIGHT NOW.
Kate Gosselin's got a hair cut. Or she got extensions, and she's actually PRETTY!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Year of the Pig Flu

While the rest of you were out tooting those annoying horns, drinking bubbly and landing slobbery kisses upon one another's smoochers, I was flat on my back with the pig flu.


THE BACK STORY: On Christmas Day I ventured to sunny CA to retrieve my kid, as I do every Christmas he goes to stay with his dad.

I flew later in the day Christmas after spending the night in a locale (read: fun house) a bit closer to the airport because of lots of snow and ice and more on the way.

Despite my forward thinking, grand intentions, AND the little airline computer dealy saying I had nothing to fear before departing for said airport: all planes were indeed on time!

I arrived to find I would experience multiple delays because the white shit started blowing sideways and planes were "missing," but then because I was there anyway, the ticket man declared, "You just got lucky (read: looked pathetic enough) and made it on a "new" flight" (read: even more delayed/earlier flight).

I arrived to LA shortly before midnight (LA time).

After waiting for next to no time in the LAX shuttle line, I made my way to my relatively swag-tastic hotel, complete with a large comfortable bed, lots of pillows, the sounds of incessant jet engines taking off and landing (right outside my window!), and a bar that served (tasty) food, and an attractive, friendly and even interesting man awaiting me at said bar.


I woke early on the 26th, got in a killer workout in the hotel's large and surprisingly nice gym, and then headed back to the airport to collect my precious cargo (read: the kid) and fly back in the direction from which I came.

The sun shone. His dad was on time. Good things seemed in store.

Except outside my hemisphere of contentment, other things were happening. There was this asshole who wrapped some explosives to his legs and tried to light himself on fire while flying through the air, and thus, the lines were snaking long and lean around the airport, and the security personnel, snarky.

Not to be deterred, I had no checked baggage and we whizzed right by all those suckers and went on our merry way. Security? No problem.

The kid and I got ourselves some eighty dollar (okay $35) California Pizza Kitchens and began our journey home. I was entrenched in this book I'd started on the way over, and as soon as my kid started snoring and farting his way across the friendly skies, I dove back in.

Shortly thereafter it started: the dude behind me took to sneezing, and sneezing, and sneezing and well, you get the point. Except you clearly do NOT get the point if you do not first imagine yourself sitting plastered against the airline window, your kid's bag, your own bag stuffed at your feet, your kid across your lap, your knees in your ears, and this dude's spit....showering you from above.

And behind. And the left. And the right.

Ah, ah, ahhh CHOOO!
Sneezing. Again. And again. And again.

Did you SAY something, you ask?
Did you at least give him the stink eye?
Well, of COURSE I DID!

He just kept right on a sneezing. And not covering. And showering me from behind.

I resolved to put it out of my mind, napped even. When we finally arrived home several hours later, I had bigger things to worry about. Like the fifty seven feet of snow that had fallen since I left a little less than 24 hours before.

And the eighty feet of snow that was attempting to fall from the sky at that very moment. And the 45 minute drive home. Which took two hours. And the road? What road? Couldn't see it. Minor details.

That sucked.

Needless to say, eventually we arrived home, went to bed. I woke up in the morning with a throat that felt oddly like I'd been screaming my lungs out for fifteen consecutive days. And it was all downhill from there.

Imagine my guilt, kid makes it home for the latter portion of his Christmas break with his momma, only to have her sputtering and snoting and napping on the couch, a wreck of pig flu germ-assery.

Except he didn't seem to mind.

I armed him with a box cutter, a bunch of old magazines a couple rolls of duct tape and the kid made himself a fort of epic proportions. We watched football. We read books.

And I heard him lament to the dogs yesterday in one of these songs he invents out of just the thoughts in his heart when he thinks I am not listening:

"These days, these past few days...they've been my most favorite days of my life. Just me and my dogs and my mom...just me, my dogs and my mom."