Grocery Freedom

Grocery bags 2017-10-11 07.48.28
Getting ready for grocery shopping

A couple of weeks ago, I finally got up the nerve to tell Mom that she wouldn’t be going grocery shopping with us anymore.

“Mom, you’re not going to the store with us anymore.”

“You’re not taking me?”

“No, Mom. It’s too hard for me when you go.”

“I don’t believe it.”

“It doesn’t matter if you believe it, you still won’t be going.”

“Well, thanks for nothing.”

“You’re welcome.”

 

This past Sunday, as she was having her lunch, she asked about grocery shopping.

“Y’all are going to the grocery store this afternoon?”

“Yes, we are.”

“But you’re not going to let me go with you, are you?”

“No, we’re not.”

“You’re mean.”

“Yes, I am.”

 

Later, when it was time to go:

“Mom, Vickie and I are going to the grocery, now.”

“You and Vickie?! No, take Steve and leave Vickie here. When Steve is here, he won’t stay in the house. He keeps going in and out the door, into the yard.”

“Vickie is going with me, Mom. You’ll be fine.”

“Well, thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

 

It was the most relaxing Sunday I’ve had in the past two years.

 

 

 

 

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Feeling Better

Get Dressed 2017-08-15 07.05.14
Not only did I not have to wake Mom up to get dressed this morning, she actually got dressed 10 minutes earlier than usual.

After my call last week to Mom’s nurse/case manager, the doctor agreed to prescribe an antibiotic to treat Mom’s (strongly) suspected UTI without subjecting her to a quick cath procedure, which would have been no fun for all involved. Less than 24 hours later, she was less confused, more alert, more energetic and somehow able to hear a little better. She is nodding off less while sitting up watching TV, and she’s moving around more, getting herself up to go the bathroom, etc.

She got Vickie to call my brother, but got his voicemail. She got me to call again later, and had a nice conversation with him after I switched the phone over to the ear that she hears better with. (Now that I know her right ear works a little better than her left, I’ll have to watch for that when she makes a call.)

Of course, now that she is awake and alert, she is also more aware and interested in what’s going on around her. She realized that Vickie and I went to the grocery store without her. She wanted to know how much we spent at the grocery and was appalled by the total. Over the next couple of days, she asked both of us several times just what we bought at the grocery that cost so much. Vickie finally got her to understand that groceries are expensive, especially now that we’re feeding four people.

I’m glad she’s feeling better, and it is translating into less laundry for Vickie. But it also means that all her questions and requests are really keeping us hopping.

 

Sunday Shopping

We go grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon. Every week, Mother looks forward to it and I dread it. Recently, I talked myself into trying to reframe it from “my weekly grocery shopping trip that I have to take Mom along on” to “Mom’s weekly outing wherein I also get to buy groceries”. And I really tried yesterday. I really did.

Around 4 pm, I hear Mom move from the couch to her bedroom, and I know she is getting ready for our grocery outing. After dressing, she goes into the bathroom to comb her hair and apply her lipstick. I remind her that she needs to change her briefs. When she strongly protests that she just did, just before she got dressed, I allow the look on her face to convince me that, even though I didn’t hear her go into the bathroom, perhaps I just wasn’t paying attention at that particular time. I don’t really believe her, but I don’t want to argue with her, just in case she’s telling the truth.

When it’s time to go, I check the back of her pants to make sure they’re not wet, and we head out to the car. When we arrive at Publix, I don’t think to check her pants when she gets out of the car, so I don’t see the saucer-sized wet spot beginning to spread across the back of her legs until she’s maneuvering to sit on the bench just inside the front door. I briefly consider ignoring it and getting on with the grocery shopping, but I know it will just be that much worse later. I bend over to say loudly into her ear, but at least not yell out to the entire supermarket, “You need to get up. We need to go back home.”

“Why?”

“Your pants are wet.”

“They’ll be fine.”

“No, we need to go back to the car. Your pants are wet.”

“I don’t have any pants in the car.”

“No, we have to go home.”

She realizes I’m not going to let it go, and slowly stands to move toward the door. I pull aside a young bagger to let her know that someone should wipe down the middle cushion of the bench.

When we get to the car and are pulling out of the parking lot, I say, “I WANT TO TELL YOU THAT I’M ANGRY.”

No response.

“DID YOU HEAR ME?”

“No, what did you say?”

“I SAID, I’M ANGRY.”

“Why are you angry?”

“I’M ANGRY BECAUSE YOU LIED TO ME ABOUT CHANGING YOUR BRIEFS. AND NOW THEY’RE WET AND WE HAVE TO GO HOME.”

“Well, I don’t want you to be angry.”

“AND I DON’T WANT YOU TO LIE TO ME ABOUT CHANGING YOUR BRIEFS. AND I’LL BE COMING BACK TO THE STORE BY MYSELF.”

“By yourself?? Why??”

“BECAUSE YOU LIED TO ME ABOUT CHANGING YOUR BRIEFS AND ENDED UP WITH WET PANTS. THAT’S NOT OKAY.”

When we get home and inside, I move to block her way to the couch so I can direct her into the bathroom to change. I wait to take her pants so I can put them straight into the wash, along with the pad she was sitting on in the car.

“Can you bring me some more pants?”

“No, just go on in your room and put on a housecoat.”

In the laundry room, I use a stainstick on the blots of lipstick spotting the front of her white pants before putting them and the pad into the washer. Over the splashing of the water filling the tub, I faintly hear my husband call from the other room that she’s yelling for me. I finish what I’m doing and go into her room to find her sitting on the bed.

“I need some pants.”

“No, just put a housecoat on.”

“I don’t have one.”

“They’re in your closet.”

“Will you hand me one?”

I pull a bright yellow, snap-front housedress off its hanger and hand it to her. She struggles to put in on, as if she’s never done it before. At this point, I’m too annoyed to be sympathetic, and while I help her put it on, I insist that she snap up the front herself.

“Okay – I’m going back to the grocery store.”

“And you’re going to leave me here.”

“Yes, I am. Do you know why?”

“Because you don’t like me.” (This is a joke/not joke reply. She doesn’t really think I don’t like her. But she knows I’m irritated with her.)

“No, because you lied to me about not changing your briefs.”

“Okay, okay, ” she says as she looks away. This is her way of ending the conversation. She lipreads as much or more than she actually hears. If she’s not looking at my face, I know she’s no longer participating.

I move to the door and, 45 minutes after my first attempt, leave, once again, to go buy groceries.