Okaasan's dentist did a great letter to her.
Good big print. Clinic headed notepaper. Polite but firm Japanese: Recently you had to come for dental treatment many times. Your teeth are in a bad condition. I worry about your general health. You MUST clean your teeth twice a day, otherwise dental problems could spread to other parts of the body. Your right foot might fall off.
Well, not the last part.
But the rest.
Dear Son gave it to Okaasan this morning. She laughed a little nervously and read it, several times. Then put it back in the envelope and back on the table.
We have taken color photocopies of it, so if she loses the original we can wave other versions of the letter at her.
But, still is the problem of actually physically making her clean her teeth more. Making her get up off the carpet by the TV and 6 steps away to the bathroom to brush her teeth.
She's an expert at saying: "I've got that/done/that/seen that" - whatever our questions are. So when we ask "Time to clean your teeth today!" I can see she will endlessly say: "I did it already".
And then she will stay in front of the TV and the tooth care program won't be any better.
Have to be tough. Tougher.
She goes to the toilet several times a day. She goes to the bathroom to wash her face a) before going out b) before lunch/dinner. Maybe we'll have more luck of getting the tooth cleaning done when she is up and moving around in the kitchen/toilet/bathroom area?
Or we can ask day care to start pushing on the teeth cleaning too?
I used to have a friend (the one who dropped me cos she couldn't deal with my stressy change of life after Okaasan came to live with us...) - anyway, SHE used to clean her cat's teeth by holding the animal down over her knees, wrapping his paws/claws in a towel and brushing into the jaws of certain injury.
I'd like to try something similar with Okaasan.
* Anyway. Life is ongoing. It's hot. I'm on sort-of summer holidays here. We've had beer garden trips with Couch Surfing guests, I went kayaking again and have got seriously hooked - thinking of buying my own kayak now, Okaasan is trying to smuggle chocolates to daycare in multiple bags...and I am finding them and eating them.