Today was by far the most depressing Thanksgiving I've ever had.
I woke up and made breakfast. Nanny cleaned her plate: eggs, toast, juice, banana, kiwi...the whole shebang. That part was good. I looked through the flyers in the morning paper over breakfast and found out that JC Penney, Macy's and Kohl's are all having huge sales on women's clothing, bras, etc. tomorrow morning until noon, so that was good too. I can get most of the stuff that I need for Nanny at big discounts. I guess I'll go to JC Penney's? It's a little bit cheaper, and it's not like I need to buy cashmere or anything fancy, just decent quality clothing. For crying out loud, she's wearing the same ratty old red acrylic sweater every day right now. At least I can get wool and cotton for her. I hope she wears it though. She's so old-fashioned about wearing hose and high heeled shoes and belts and all that crap. Yesterday it was a completely foreign idea to her that you could LAYER clothing...wear a sweater over a shirt! I don't get it. And yet she's freezing alllllll the time. I wonder if I can get her to wear socks and comfortable shoes instead of knee-high hose and pumps.
I think I'm just going to go to the store and buy a bunch of stuff while the sale is going on, then whatever she doesn't like I'll take back. I can't see fighting crowds with both Nanny and Julian and having to keep track of them both in JC Penney.
Julian started to flip out an hour or so after we woke up. He was all riled up. It's so hard on me. I don't know how people in small apartments have kids. I couldn't wait to get him out to the playground, but then I knew I couldn't stay there all day long or anything, so I tried to stretch things out a bit. I scrubbed the toilet and sink, which were filthy. For some reason the toilet tank was full of sandy grit and some sort of black substance...iron? I don't know. The um, flushing hole or whatever it's called...the place where the toilet contents exit the bowl...is all discolored brown. It's some kind of mineral deposit I think, because I scrubbed it and bleached it and nothing helped. I'd have to chip it off with a chisel or something. Not going there.
Doesn't exactly help ease my mind about drinking tap water here. Ugh, it tastes awful too. I should buy bottled water, but I hate all the plastic bottles. I wish I had the extra Brita water pitcher that's sitting in my attic storage right now.
Right as we were getting ready to go I left the room for a minute and came back to a giant crash. Julian knocked over the living room table lamp and broke it. I was ready to kill him by that point. I was able to fix it with glue, but it was more than I could take. I got him in the car as fast as I could and we spent two hours at the playground. He played his brains out...luckily there were a bunch of other kids there for him to play with, so he got to chase and be chased and run and climb and everything.
My pelvis is on FIRE today though. I can only just barely walk, and each step is really painful. Unfortunately I had to keep getting up at the park...Julian was grabbing at this older boy trying to get a tennis ball that they were playing with, then he was running around the swings, where big kids were swinging really high and fast (little kids are notorious for not being able to track the path of someone swinging, wandering into the line of fire, then getting totally whacked when the swinger bashes into them). He just started getting all crazy. He fell into a big mud puddle too, and got totally dirty. I didn't care about that so much, but it was bothering him and he kept trying to clean off his muddy butt.
I put clean pants and shoes on him before we got inthe car, and we went back to Nanny's. Amazingly, he was still full of energy, but I had him help me cook dinner (he cut sausage with a butter knife) and I managed to distract him for a while with an old deck of cards.
I made turkey breast cutlets, pan-seared and then simmered in butter, salt and pepper, and chicken broth. Mashed potatoes, peas and corn, stuffing...I think that was it. I had cranberry-orange sauce, but I forgot to put it on the table. Ugh. It wasn't fancy, but it wasn't a bad Thanksgiving, considering. Except that when I served it up, I said, "Time for our Thanksgiving feast!" and Nanny said, "Oh, is it Thanksgiving today?" and then five minutes later I had to remind her again.
She was getting all fretful and obsessive and driving me nuts. I wanted to eat our dinner before going to see my grandfather, thinking we could take him some food afterwards. He wasn't responsive at all yesterday, so I figured it wouldn't matter so much. Plus my Auntie Doris called and said that the worst thing for me to do was to let her sit by his bedside for a few hours at a time by herself.
I don't know, she says she *wants* to. I give her a choice of coming with me to the playground, staying home, or spending a few hours with Bopah on her own, and so far she picks option #3 every time. Today I saw how she was much more upset by NOT spending time with him, and when I go with Julian we just can't stay that long at the hospice, so I think it's fine. I mean, it's better than dragging her off after a 15 minute visit.
Anyway, she just kept putzing around the house today, compulsively picking things up and putting them away. Julian was playing with a deck of cards and she came over and started putting them back in the box and put them away in the drawer, which naturally he was upset about. Me too, since he had finally been quietly playing on his own! I had set up his chair at the table with a pillow as a booster and put a towel over it before we ate, and she took the pillows away and put the towel in his suitcase. Between the two of them I find it nearly impossible to get anything done, I swear.
The final straw was when she closed all the curtains and made the room dark as night at 3:45pm...when it was ALREADY stuffy as hell, all windows closed tight and the heater blasting at 83F.
I said, "Nanny, it's a beautiful sunny afternoon, what are you doing? Don't you want to see the sunshine and the trees and birds and people going by? It's only 3:45pm. Let's enjoy the daylight while we have it."
"Oh," she said, "I thought it was 5:00pm already."
She's all worried about keeping the curtains closed. I don't get it.
After dinner I cleaned up the bathroom some more while she did dishes. This time I removed three brown paper grocery bags full of junk from the cupboards under the sink. Old shriveled bars of unwrapped soap, used disposable razors, bottles of after-sun lotion from back when we lived in Florida TWENTY-FIVE years ago. Random cheap knick-knacky boxes full of dusty paper clips, a foam heart from a prescription drug company, all kinds of weird icky stuff.
Plus seven unopened bottles of hydrogen peroxide. Three full cans of shaving cream. EIGHT curling irons, all the same size. I kept the H2O2, put the shaving cream out by the garbage bins for someone to take, and I'm still not sure what to do with the eight curling irons. I'll keep the best one and get rid of the other seven.
I still have to go through three more big cupboards in the bathroom. Man. But now at least the counter is cleared off, so all that's on it is her jewelry box, her glasses and her prescription medicine. I watched her get ready for bed tonight and what little she used and needed was still right there where she looked for it, so I guess I did OK. She even put her glasses into the case that I unearthed from the pile on the counter behind her makeup mirror, so that was cool.
I can't believe that I used to be a pack rat too at one point. It's so awful. I'm just grossed out by pointless junky clutter now. It makes it so hard to find anything. It's impossible to be well-organized when you have crap bursting out of every cupboard. How can you even tell what you have?
Tomorrow I have to go through the supplements as well. They are literally FALLING out of every cupboard in the kitchen. Most of them are unopened or almost full. There are hundreds and hundreds of them. I shudder to think how much money was wasted on this crap, thousands of dollars I suppose. I buy supplements too, but not nearly this many, and I do actually take them!
I am going to trash all of these and leave her with a new bottle of Trader Joe's Senior Multivitamins, some milk chocolate calcium balls, and her precription meds. That's it. She will never take them on her own, it's all my grandfather's obsession, He always was raving over some new supplement du jour that was going to return him to youth, health and virility.
We finally went to go visit my grandfather at around 6:00pm. This time he was alert and we could actually understand him fairly well. Completely different from yesterday. I don't get it. He swings from near-death to not-near-death at the drop of a hat. But he's not going to be able to come home. I still don't understand how my grandmother took care of him by herself for as long as she did.
Julian was past his bedtime so we had to go pretty quickly, plus the smell of shit and pee was pretty strong in the halls at the hospice today and it was making me sick to my stomach. Julian melted down on the way out and I had to limp along carrying his kicking, screaming 30-pound body to the car, then he continued to scream in the car all the way home, and that was the final straw for my nerves.
I grabbed his pajamas when we got home, threw him on the bed, closed the door, and burst into tears. He got all quiet and asked me what was wrong. I told him that I was very sad, that I missed Daddy and Doggie and I wanted to go home. My sweet boy came over and petted my hair, patted my back, and then he took the little wooden massager on the table and said, "Mommy like a rub?" and gave me a little backrub with it. Little sweetheart.
I gave him a big hug and a kiss and said that we were both having a hard time, but that I loved him very much and we would go home soon and see Daddy, and our house, and our friends, and Puppy, and his toys, and everything. And my god, I am banning TV for at least a month when we get home, it's on all the time here just out of desperation, plus it's at his level so he can turn it on and off at will.
After that I read him three stories and we cuddled and kissed some more and he fell asleep pretty quickly.
Sigh. I hope tomorrow is a better day. I really do.