Monthly Archives: February 2012
Sing along if you have kids…
FOR SHE’S A JOLLY GOOD CREDIT, FOR SHE’S A JOLLY GOOD CREDIT, FOR SHE’S A JOLLY GOOD CRE-E-DIT, THAT THE I.R.S. CAN’T DENY. THE I.R.S. CAN’T DENY!
I’ve been married for almost nine years and it wasn’t until the baby came along that we actually got a tax refund. This is only the second year that we’ve had a child to claim, so the shock is still new for us. It’s like looking at an infomercial or something. There’s me doing the taxes and looking increasingly depressed as I make my way down the 1040.
There’s always the initial disappointment when you get to line one for wages, tips and salary and you think to yourself, damn that’s all we made? Then you go through and it reminds you of how broke your ass really is by asking you about stuff that only people with money can answer. Dividends? Capital Gains? Rental income? If it weren’t for kids, the average person wouldn’t even do a regular 1040. That old 1040-EZ used to be done in three minutes:
Wages: Very little
Tax paid: More than I’d like
Refund: Yeah right
Tax Due: How the hell do I owe???
So yeah, as I go through the 1040 line for line I get more depressed until that magic section about Child Tax Credit. How many dependents from line 6a? Multiply times what? Subtract from that. Then those magic words:
This is the amount you overpaid!
I wanted to break out a cardboard box and start break dancing. I picked up my daughter and carried her around the house on my shoulders like those Taco Bell commercials.
It was 65 degrees yesterday so I decided to take my daughter outside. We’re broke so we went somewhere free, The Capitol. I took her out of her stroller and tried to get her to pose for some pictures but of course she hauled ass as soon as I let her go. I ran after her and put her back into place and tried again.
This went on for a while.
Now it’s important to the story that you know that I’m a very paranoid parent. You never know when you’re gonna get trapped in the Metro/elevator/traffic/snowstorm/etc, so I keep a bunch of survival stuff in the bottom of the stroller. There’s food, water, diapers, first aid, clothes and toys all individually sorted in large Ziploc bags. Now at no point did it occur to me what I looked like yesterday.
I have a large black stroller.
Several large plastic bags underneath it
There’s a blinking toy cell phone on top of the bags
And I just ran away full speed from it (to catch my daughter)
It’s amazing just how much attention you get from the Capitol Police when you do that. I’m sure it also didn’t help that my daughter seemed to strategically take off running in the direction of the motorcade that was parked out front. My headphones fell out of my ear as I was running, so I had them in my hand and my phone was in my pocket so I’m sure that was a good look to the police snipers: A guy running with a dark jacket and wires coming out of his coat.
As soon as I realized what I looked like to them, I scooped my daughter up and put her back in the stroller. I knew that if I tried to leave it would look way too suspicious. By this point there were like five or six cops in my area who weren’t there before. So we walked around the grounds pretending to be interested. I sang Sesame Street songs and spoon fed her like Father of the Year. It almost worked until my daughter went into Phase 2 of get daddy arrested.
She’s like Monk. She has this thing where she has to touch every light pole and jump on every manhole cover. All of those things are marked on the Capitol grounds so she’s reading off the letters. I point to them too and say, What letter is this? What number is that? It was cute…until I realized there were cameras near those things (they’re probably security risks) so I’m like Oh shit! Now it looks like we’re taking inventory for Bin Laden Jr or something.
About four police approached us one at a time after that and asked how we were and if it was our first visit. One gave my daughter a Junior Police badge. I know damned well they weren’t being friendly rather they were trying to size us up. Of course my daughter threw the badge on the ground as the woman handed it to her and I’m thinking Why don’t you just yell death to America and get us both locked up!
I say the hell with it and decide to just leave before my daughter grabbed one of their guns or something. She picks up a stick off the ground and we make our way out. As we’re leaving she drops the stick. I pick it up and I hear someone yelling through a headset or walkie talkie,
RIGHT THERE, RIGHT THERE…TARGET HAS SOMETHING… IDENTIFY…SHOT!
All of a sudden this Black dude who I thought was a visitor like me starts talking into his coat,
It’s a stick. I repeat a stick. No Action. The little girl has a stick.
I couldn’t get the hell outta there fast enough. We will never go back to the Capitol.