I really MUST try harder to simplify when I tell Okaasan what's gonna happen.
Long, complex stories just don't register anymore.
Got to boil down the basic facts.
Today was actually NOT snowing. Glorious blue skies, cold and sunny.
I had a lunch buffet date with my Friend and the Cutest Baby in the World - to celebrate the season and her almost 1 year of life in Sapporo.
I decided it was a good opportunity to get Okaasan out of the house. She's sat watching Tv and shuffled to the toilet and the kitchen table every single day since the election trip last Sunday. Sooo bad for her body and mind.
She'd also had a toilet accident and I needed to get her out of the house, so I could go into her room and find the soiled clothes...
Plan into action.
I told her I was going downtown at 11 am, would she like to come with me to the station etc Walk safely together. I was "meeting a foreign guest for lunch, but you can go and meet your friend in your fave Doutor coffee shop can't you? etc etc"
By 10.40 she was still in pajamas. By 11 am I got her out of the house and we walked gently down across the snowy streets to the subway.
As it was cold and my friend and her baby hadn't arrived yet, I sent Okaasan off thru the ticket gate and waved her off. Heard a train come and go. 5 minutes later my friend arrived and we went to the platform.
Okaasan was waiting for us.
She just wasn't getting it. The concept of being escorted to the station over the bad streets, and then setting off alone on her routine downtown routes. She asked if she should wait in Doutor coffee shop! No, no! Go where you like - department stores, the park, the Seicomart, the underground walking place...
YOU are going downtown to do all of your routine things, WE have to go and have lunch with a foreign person who speaks no Japanese. A Lie that, but "a foreign guest" is usually enough of an excuse to explain why Okaasan isn't going somewhere with us.
Not today. She wasn't getting the whole flow of events really.
Certainly NOT going to include my MIL in my end -of-year-blow-out with Friend. We all got on the next train together, a bit awkwardly split up in the carriage because of the babycar...and at the central station I made sure Okaasan got OFF the train and told her "your friend at the Doutor Coffee Shop" one more time to reinforce the idea of what she was going to do next.
Hmm....one of the lucky things about Okaasan is that she is very independent and has always happily trotted off on walks and shopping, and lunches and coffee shops alone. Proudly so.
I got a glimpse today of a future where she won't know WHAT it is she is doing, until pointed in the direction.
I shouldn't have mentioned anything about "meeting a foreign guest for lunch", should have taken her to the subway station. Put her on the train and left it at that. She didn't need to know - and get confused by - all the extra information.
Tomorrow Christmas Eve. Emperor's birthday.
I'll do lunch with OKaasan and then escape for a gloriously silly night out at the SMAP concert with an old student and her brother.
And then Christmas Day. Have to prepare something entertaining to do in the two classes I have.
And then cook or order something for a semblance of Happy Family Dinner when Yujiro comes home in the evening.
And Okaasan - December 25th will be Day Service Hula Class, The Sequel.