Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Crazy Train Tuesday

Each week I try and list some of the craziness associated with our dealings with our mother.  It keeps me sane and is much cheaper than therapy. I missed posting last week. Son3 was here and because I had an extra reinforcement I did not have to deal with everything by myself, so things seemed less intense. Special thanks to Son3 who went to her house several times and sat in her blazing hot den visiting her and having refreshments.

Sunday: I am backing up to last Sunday because I did not do a crazy train list last week. Sunday Son3 was sitting in with a jazz band playing at a Sunday brunch at a local watering hole. He got the call sometime late Sunday morning so we decided to run down after church, eat and listen to them for a bit. We asked Mom at the last minute and she wanted to go, so we dropped by her house to pick her up.  When we pulled into the driveway we saw A LADDER AND HER BIG LOPPING SHEARS next to a small tree by her driveway. (She had forgotten she left the ladder out and got caught)
She had mentioned Saturday she wanted the tree trimmed and I guess I just did not get to it in time to suit her. She was angry and felt like we ganged up on her, because every one of us fussed at her. for getting on the ladder to begin with, forget about the fact that she was leaning over it to trim the tree. My Beloved Sister called her after I relayed it to her  and told Mom if she falls from a ladder and breaks her hip she will be going to a nursing home, no ifs, ands or buts.

Monday and Tuesday: Uneventful days

Wednesday: After taking Mom to the dr. we were driving home and she asked me couple of random things then ended with what she really wanted answered.
Mom: Are you going to Aldi today. (Cleverly concealed code meaning I want you to take me to Aldi)
Me: I hadn't planned on it but I can go right now.
Mom: Well I don't want to you to go just to take me, but I am out of cereal and won't
have anything for breakfast tomorrow.
Me: We are already out, we might as well go on.
(I turned on to the interstate which is the quickest route because I don't hit about 15 traffic lights I would run into if I drove the other way)
Mom: Why are you going this way. I never drive this way. We should go the other way.
Me: It's a little quicker, plus you don't ever drive on the interstates anymore, remember?
Mom: I used to, but even when I drove on them I didn't come this way to Aldi.
Me: That's because Aldi wasn't here when you used to drive the interstates.
Mom flipped me off.

Later in the day I went to her house taking care of some business. I told her I had to meet the bug man  the next afternoon and asked if she wanted to ride to the lake at about 2 with me. She said she would like that.  About 10 minutes later her phone rang and a friend asked her if she would like to go with him to visit another mutual friend (who has moved to a care facility) Thursday afternoon.  Mom immediately said "Sure, I have no plans for tomorrow"
I started mentally singing "Chopped Liver".

Thursday: Got a call a little before 9 a.m.
Mom: I need you
Me: Do I need to call the paramedics and meet them there? (My new first response to her "I need you" calls)
Mom: No my stove won't work.
Me: Will your stove not work or is it your stove clock? (We have danced this dance before)
Mom: No! It's where the stove says 1 o'clock.
Me: (realizing there is no emergency) I will be down later to check on it

Friday: Phone call from Mom in the afternoon before Son2 and Girlfriend 2 were taking her out to eat.
Mom: Guess where I am going?
Me: (Yes, I know but I might as well let her "surprise me) Where?
Mom: I am going out to eat with Son3
Me: No Mom, Son3 is back in New York, you are going out with Son2.
Mom: Oh yeah, and That Girl too!
So now we are all calling Girlfriend2 "That Girl".  I am so happy she has a sense of humor and can laugh with us at the crazy.

Saturday: Nothing more than the usual phone calls (Yes, calls! I probably talk to her an average of 5 times a day) mostly her telling me how terrible her day was. Then I got a call from My Beloved Sister telling me when she stopped by Mom's she was outside cutting down another small tree. (She has a yard man every week and could get him to do this, but whenever she decides she wants something done, by crackie, she means right that minute and John woudn't come until Monday or Tuesday) Have you ever heard the soundtrack from Fiddler on the Roof? Years ago My Beloved Sister and I rewrote the words to the song Tradition. Our version begins: Relentless, Relentless....
MBS: (wearing nice clothes ) I will come by tomorrow morning and do this for you.
Mom: No I'll just get the guy to do it when he comes to do my lawn. !?!?!?!?!?

Sunday: Mom was eating dinner with all of us when I noticed huge bruises on her forearms. I thought she has possibly hit them on her door frame when she was walking from one room to another.
Me: Mom how did you get those bruises?
Mom: When I was trimming the tree between my house and the B's again today some of the cut branches poked through my skin me and bruised me.
THE ENTIRE TABLE: Crickets!!!!!
So much for letting the yard guy do it, huh?

Monday: I have a tendency to get my days and nights mixed up and I am in a terrible sleep pattern right now. I am still awake at 4 in the morning yet I still wake for the day by 7. Monday morning I had to be nowhere and was mentally giving myself permission to sleep in since I had finally gotten to sleep at about 4:30.  At 8:30 the phone rang, a call from Mom.
Mom: We have problems
Me: What problems? (groggy)
Mom: A branch fell from the tree you have got to call them and get them out here today. (We are still on a list to get the tree removed but every weekend lately we have had new storms and trees are falling everywhere. Mom does not seem to understand that trees on houses are removed before trees in yards)
Me: OK (still groggy)
Mom: Were you asleep?
Me: I'm not now
Mom: Well take care of this right quick
Me: (Mentally begin singing Relentless again) Sure Mom, just let me go to the bathroom first.

Call 2 approximately 3 minutes later
Mom: What did they say?
Me: Their answering service answered, I left a call back number.

Call 3 approximately 3o minutes later
Mom: Did you hear anything yet? You need to come look at this!
Me: No and I left my landline number so I can't leave to come look at the branch. About how big is it so I can tell them?
Mom: I am not good at eyeballing. It goes to the porch
Me: (silently) What?
        (aloud) Is it under 6 feet long? (mentally singing): "Let's start at the very beginning. . . "
Mom: One section is but it is in 4 sections.
Me: OK what is the total, just guess
Mom: One is bout 5 feet, another is about 4, the third is about 5 and the last one is about 3 feet long.
Me: (While doing mental tree mathematics) Was this one long limb or was it a shorter limb with branches off of it?
Mom: (crickets) I don't know, and I don't know how to deal with these things. Why don't you run down here and look?
Me: Because I am waiting for the tree service to call back.

Call 4 approximately 1 hour later
Mom: I just got a call from the roof people. It scared me
Me: Do you mean the tree people?
Mom: No the roof people, they want to inspect the roof today.
Me: Mom, did you call anyone to come look at your roof?
Mom: No
Me: Then it is just some roofing company trying to drum up business.
Mom: Well, it scared me, but I told them they couldn't look at my roof.
Me: (Silently) Then why did you call me?
       (Aloud) OK


  1. I can't believe your mom, who seems to worry about every little issue, would even take a chance on getting on a ladder by herself! I think I would just take the ladder away from her. So scary! I missed last weeks update :)

    1. She refuses to admit she has gotten older and sees no reason why she should not do whatever she used to, even though it has probably been 10 years since she climbed ladders of any sort.

      And now we have hidden the blooming ladder!

    2. oh good! that's the last thing you and sister need is mom falling off a ladder.

  2. The stove said one o'clock? Oh, the horror!


    1. I am slowly learning not to react, but to act and decide for myself if a situation is an emergency or just a Momergency

  3. My MIL pulled stunts like this. Bear in mind we are on a different coast from her. It was always the same: Call DH with dire emergency, (at 7 or 8 a.m. eastern time, we're Pacific) and claim she couldn't get BIL (who lives an easy 2 hour drive from her) to help. You know the dance. May I just say I wasn't as understanding as you? SIL and I finally had to put a stop to it. She and I agreed I would call SIL the minute MIL called, so she could talk MIL down, hecause otherwise, it was always the same... DH getting all wound up and arguing with BIL, but DH never had the whole story. Poor woman was only bored and lonely. The triangulating she did was just her way to exert some sort of control. Gra

    1. Mom is not actively trying to be a pain in the butt, but Dad took care of everything remotely unpleasant while Mom did her more fun things. She can't sew like she once did due to her cognitive issues and sewing used to be her Nirvana place. She was one with the universe when her machine was humming and now she has lost her escape zone.
      My Beloved Sister and I try very hard to be understanding, so we talk to each other daily, compare notes, scream if necessary and do what we have to so Mom's life is bearable for her. (Sometimes not so much for us)

  4. I love Tuesday's and it is helping me put a little humor in our situation ❤️❤️

    1. I laugh while I am writing it because by the time I go back and edit, my feelings have shifted and I can look for the humor in it. Except for the ladder thing and there was not a damn thing funny about it.

  5. Very, very familiar.
    Except that my mother wouldn't have used the ladder or the loppers. Her tongue did the work.

    1. Yep those mother tongues can pack a punch.

  6. Like your mom wanting to go to Aldi, my grandma used to say "Oh were you just going to make a cup of tea"? "No grandma". "Oh only if you were, I would have taken one, but as you're not I won't". Nobody would have minded at all getting her a cup of tea but she used to annoy everyone by asking this way. She wasn't a nice woman BTW. Mind you, the "tea" business was the least of our worries with her. Anna

    1. Yes It is an interesting way to get what you want. I would rather she ask me before we go somewhere than to be out and about then feel shanghaied. And that is not new behavior on her part, it's been going on as long as I have known her.

  7. The ladder story reminds me of one with my neighbor. He was in his late 80's and starting to have a lot of health problems including joint and balance issues. His kids worried about him being there alone and maybe falling and got him a golf cart to cruise around his 3 acre lot. One day I looked out the window and saw him standing on the top of a step ladder pruning a tree. I immediately went over and told him since his kids weren't there, I was going to act like one of them. I proceeded to fuss at him and talk about how dangerous it was to be up on the ladder and leaning off. He said he hadn't promised his kids not to be on a ladder, he just promised them to use the golf cart. He still had all of his facilities. However, he was raised on a farm and had done physical things his whole life and was not going to quit. I have many similar stories about my father.

    1. What Mom refuses to understand is that all we really want is for her to be happy, but part of her happiness is to have her bones intact and a ladder is not really a great way to keep from falling.
      I do understand giving up independence is not easy.

  8. Well the rest of the week has made up for the "easy" days :) It's good you can conduct two dialogues at the same time! Just don't get them confused!

    1. I have a running talking/singing inner monologue all the time. I guess this is the price I pay for listening to all those blooming show tunes!

  9. I use the "were you about to make tea?" method to get my kids to make a cuppa for me. It is meant to be funny but maybe not so much!
    Did you call the tree people and get to the bathroom all in the three minutes between calls? cos that's admirable or you have a stronger morning bladder than I do

  10. I actually did. Since I only got their answering service I just left my number without having to talk to anyone.

  11. I won't get on a ladder anymore! Plus my injured arm and shoulder prevent me from using loppers for more than one or two lops. And, now the right hand is injured! I guess her cognitive issues make her less aware of dangers.

    My neighbor always listened to me, but not her own daughter! I would sternly ask he--"You really want to end up in a nursing home?" This frustrated her daughter that I could get her to mind.

    That really made me laugh when she said she had nothing to do after agreeing to a ride to the lake.

    I suppose we are in for more downed trees!

    1. Everywhere I go there are trees down! Hopefully we can get those in her yard cut this week but I am not betting on it.

  12. You know what's scary? I recognize some of myself in your Mom! It's like you are holding up a mirror and I am catching a glimpse of myself! If you were to talk to my daughter, she'll be able to relate to a lot of what you are saying! :o

  13. Occasionally I will have a brief mirror glimpse of myself and immediately start doing whatever I can to change it.