A Man and His BabyWritten by Ieuan Dolby
When a couple steps forth with a baby in tow everything in life is stable and normal. People hold open doors, hard shopkeepers “chuck” and go all gooey before catching themselves and generally life is an easy ride. But gentlemen, when he who dares to step-out with a baby in tow (minus wife) life becomes a series of obstacles that never ceases to surprise.
I don’t mean a trip to corner shop, “no siree”! I mean a fully-fledged trip into town, pram, milk bottles and spare nappies to boot! Small things are immediately noticeable, like that hard and mean-looking grocer down road! When my wife goes in to his establishment he goes all gooey, in fact he doesn’t notice me at all; just talks to my wife and son and ignores me as if I was invisible man. But walking in to his shop with only my son, an apple to buy before days outing ahead and he became meaner and harder. In fact he noticed me for first time, glared at me as if I had just stolen kid and was on run and said “hope that’s not for little one”! I felt like saying what’s it got to do with you mate but ……………on bus driver who suggested that I sit near front instead of upstairs was nearly out of his seat and taking part of usher before realizing that this was not really in his job description!
Somehow some basic human instinct suggests that ‘man’ is neither capable nor fit to look after a baby! This instinct immediately raises hairs on backs of people’s necks, images of disaster loom in their minds and unseen forces push them forwards to offer help. They do not see a happy and carefree father pushing his laughing baby along in pram, they see a harried father who is at his wits end and who is desperate for help. They see a tormented and unwilling baby, screaming and kicking in desperation, a father who is pulling his hair out and desperately looking around for somebody to just show him what to do.
Once in town and in department store I headed straight for baby changing room! Same routine as always except minus one cog – wife! I did what I had done so many times before whilst my wife had sat down to read a magazine. Well, plan was same as all those times before, make milk give my son bottle, lay him down on nappy changing “thingy”, change his nappy, etc! I did not even get as far as hot water dispenser! One mum, before I had even entered room stopped me in my tracks and in a very serious way informed me that seat belt on pram was not fastened. One has to be polite in situations like these; I myself planning ahead as always had removed seat belt just then in preparation for lifting my son out of it once inside baby room. I did not know of golden rule that one cannot unfasten seat belt until well inside closed doors!
Are You Eligible For Any Of These Tax Credits?Written by Richard A. Chapo
Taxpayers should consider claiming tax credits for which they might be eligible when completing their federal income tax returns. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of taxes owed. Some credits are refundable – taxes could be reduced to point that a taxpayer would receive a refund rather than owing any taxes. Below are some of credits taxpayers could be eligible to claim:
Earned Income Tax Credit
This is a refundable credit for low-income working individuals and families. Income and family size determine amount of EITC. When EITC exceeds amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for credit.
Child and Dependent Care Credit
This is for expenses paid for care of children under age 13, or for a disabled spouse or dependent, to enable taxpayer to work. There is a limit to amount of qualifying expenses. The credit is a percentage of those qualifying expenses.
Adoptive parents can take a tax credit of up to $10,390 for qualifying expenses paid to adopt an eligible child. A credit of up to $10,390 may be allowed for adoption of a child with special needs even if you do not have any qualifying expenses. For more information, see Pub. 968, Tax Benefits for Adoption.
Credit for Elderly and Disabled
This credit is available to individuals who are either age 65 or older or are under age 65 and retired on permanent and total disability, and who are citizens or residents. There are income limitations. For more information, see Pub.524, Credit for Elderly or Disabled.