Tag Archive | rules

Caring For An Elderly Parent: Thank Goodness for Sports Cars

Blog - Pic 70“This is supposed to be the time of my life – the nest is empty; but now Mom needs me.”

This was a day I was going to spend with my husband – have some “us” time. I (unfortunately) mentioned to Mom that we were thinking of going to Denny’s knowing full well that she wouldn’t want to go because “that place that always makes me sick” couldn’t possibly be where she’d want to eat. WRONG!  Funny thing tho, every time she goes there she orders so much food and takes home all the leftovers.

When we got home I knew my husband was ready to spend some “alone” time with me, so I got Mom settle into her place, made sure the Denny’s leftovers were in sight, and then (unfortunately again) mentioned that I was going to ask my husband if he wanted to go for a drive in the Porsche. Earlier I was telling Mom how much he loves that car but doesn’t drive it much, so I figured she’d understand. Funny Mom…. she sit’s on the bench in her kitchen (still holding her 5 lb purse) and says, “OK, I’ll just wait here to see if he wants to go – I’m coming, right?” Sorry Mom, the Porsche is a 2-seater. Right about now I’m thanking my husband for buying that car!

So off we went for our nice drive, just the two of us. I told my mom we were going for a short drive – BIG mistake… Ring, Ring! “Where are you? You said you were going for a short drive and it’s been a while – I was worried. Maybe you can just call me every time you’re going to be late, that way I won’t worry.” Aarrgh! What am I…. 12?!! 

After that incident stressed me out, my husband told me that I shouldn’t be reporting to my mom every time we go out, or come home late, or basically anything. Just because she’s living next to us shouldn’t mean we have to start reporting to her. We never called her and told her our itinerary when she lived in Florida, why would we start now? That’s when I knew I had to have a talk with my mom – you know, “strike while the iron is hot” sort of thing.

So when we got home I stopped at my mom’s to have a little chat. I basically told her that I wasn’t comfortable having to report to her my whereabouts – I’ve never done that before and I was afraid that if I start doing that and then forget one time it would make things worse. I’ve never had to think about letting someone know what I’m up to and I just didn’t want to start. (Obviously if she were expecting us and we were going to be late or something, that would be different, but just normal day to day events is something that doesn’t need to be shared).  

Sure it was difficult having that talk with her- she wasn’t a happy camper – but it had to be done. And yes, it probably came across nasty, but boundaries have to be set right from the start. I know from past experience that it’s harder to change something if you’ve started it than to not start it at all.

What I Learned: For you own sanity, tell it like it is – even if they don’t like it.


Caring For An Elderly Parent: A Truly Shitty Day

Blog - Pic 68“This is supposed to be the time of my like – the nest is empty; but now Mom needs me.”

Today was quite an interesting day – actually, it was a shitty day…. literally! I awoke very early to a horrible smell; I’m thinking, what could that possibly be? I opened the bedroom door and there all down the hallway were piles of shit…. dang dog! And what had she been eating??? Eewww! Usually my husband has the lucky task of picking up the dog doo, but I wasn’t going to wake him so early for this mess. So I got that all cleaned up, patted Whitney on the head and told her it was OK (she obviously wasn’t feeling well – poor thing), let her out back and jumped back into bed for what was left of my zzzz’s.

A few hours later I am awakened again – this time to the phone ringing next door at my mom’s (remember, our walls are attached). Of course she didn’t answer it – she never answers her home phone. I knew right away that my phone would be ringing next because the Lifeline people were going to call around 9 AM to let us know when they’d be stopping by to install her equipment. Yup, it was them confirming they’d be here around noon. Yay…. more snooze time! NOT! My mom knew that Lifeline would be there between 9 and 2, but what happened next was completely unexpected. Tap, Tap, Tap on our bedroom wall…. “Are you up?” Ughhh! Really? Ignore. Tap, Tap, Tap. OK, I’m up!

And just so you know, the OK, I’m up was in my head.  My husband and I made one “absolute rule” – if my mom ever knocked on our bedroom wall or called us through the wall, we would ignore her. It’s like training a dog (bad example), it’s like teaching a small child – there have to be rules. Obviously if it were an emergency we’d treat things differently, but this was not.

So I got out of bed, put the coffee on and decided to give Mom a call on her cell to let her know when Lifeline would arrive. Straight to voice mail…. hhmmm, that’s weird, she has her cell with her at all times. OK, I’ll head next door and let her know. After I told her she asked why I didn’t just call her so she could have gone back to bed (geeze!). So I explained that I tried calling her cell but it went straight to voice mail. Then she said to me, “Oh, I think my cell phone is in the toilet.” WHAT? I ran to the bathroom to check it out – no phone in the toilet…. pheww! Then she says, “And don’t flush it because I already did and now the water is coming up to the top.” You’ve got to be kidding…. she flushed it?!!!

After my husband checked things out, sure enough the cell phone had been flushed. Three hundred and fifty dollars later, the plumber had pulled the toilet, dumped the toilet upside down in our courtyard, and “kerplunk”! Out flopped the cell phone. My mom actually wanted to keep it because “it is waterproof” (it was not), but once I told her it was covered in shit…. she declined. Off to Sprint to buy a new phone!

Oh, and the reason she dropped her phone in the toilet? California….. the toilets are lower!

 What I Learned: There has to be rules. (Oh, and the toilets are lower in California!)