The slippers started it.
Every Japanese home has a line (or jumble) of shoes in the entrance due to the shoe changing custom.
It's a good indicator of who is in and out. Office workers probably have double shoes so they can leave one pair in workplace entrances to make the boss think they are actually IN the building somewhere, while in fact they are out snoozing at a coffee shop or catching a movie.
So. Our entrance hall...with its jumble of shoes and boots.
I came home and found the guest slippers out on the floor.
Guest? who? A scheming futon cleaning salesman? A roof repair guy? Mormons?
My mind was on alert. Not it's usual state as I arrive home from work.
I go into the kitchen.
Okaasan is standing there in her pajamas drinking some water.
"Okaasan, who came today? was there a visitor?". (breaking First Rule of Dementia: DON'T ask direct questions).
"Today? A guest? Oh...err....that place I go to....that place....they came...they came, didn't they?"
"Day service came here today? Really? Why?"
She didn't know. I didn't know. My mind was a whirl. Her mind too of course...
Then I saw an empty pack of instant curry and a frying pan.
Day care came and cooked? There was some big miscommunication and they thought we were away? So they came and cooked for Okaasan?
Do burglars in Japan come in and cook for themselves?
Okaasan is now peering into the box of shopping I had just brought into the kitchen.
"They brought this maybe?"
"Err, no - I brought that in here 1 minute ago!"
Confused leading the confused. In circles.
Really I felt a sense of dread mixed with disbelief.
Who had come into the house? And why would they cook in the kitchen?
AhHa! A personal coffee pot carrier! That belongs to Dear Son, he uses it when he goes skiing.
Upstairs a sleeping bag roll.
Little things were moved all over the house. The TV was set on the sports channel.
Dear Son! He must have come during the day - on his way between ski resort jobs. Stopped off to change clothes, eat instant curry, leave the sleeping bag...
Back in the kitchen I reported to Okaasan that the mystery was solved: "Y came back didn't he! Did you meet him? (let's just go on breaking Dementia Rules with wild abandon while we are at it...)
"Y? Today? Did I meet him? Is he here?"
She really had no idea that sometime during the afternoon, a few hours before - she had met and probably had a short conversation with Dear Son. Nothing.
When I'd rushed in and shocked her with the direct question: "Who was here today?" she sorted around in her memory and came up with an answer which seemed to fit - because once a month to day care manager comes to meet Dear Son and Okaasan to review the service.
Guest? Guest slippers? = Day care people came.
* :-) Okaasan went off to day care twice this week. All happy. She talks about having a friend at day care, which is a very good sign.
I asked one of my friends to translate the service report paper for me - in case there are any important bits of information.
Usual stuff about - "Please send Okaasan with an extra pair of trousers next week, cos she pissed in the ones she was wearing. etc"
And: "She was very happy at lunchtime and said 'It's nice to have so many different kinds of food, because I don't cook so much at home'".
"I don't cook so much" ??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah, right. Not at all Okaasan! Not at all! That switching on the heat for the oden a few nights ago, that wasn't cooking :-)
I cooked it. Got myself the scissors and opened the supermarket pack and poured the pre-cooked oden into the table-top cooker.......that's cooking :-)
Onwards into Christmas week.
In Japan this year it is preceded with a 3 day weekend. Emperor's birthday. A time to sit down and write all the new year cards, check addresses. Have to post them by December 25th really.
And Monday night I am going to have a gorgeous hotel buffet dinner with Cutest Baby and his mum. Dear Son might be home for a day or two next week - or not. I haven't made any plans for Christmas dinner for him and Okaasan. If he is home I'll get some chicken and create something.
Work is winding down - most of the lunch/dinner end -of-year parties are done. Got a few classes next week, but less than usual. Got a video narration job today.
Thinking about making Christmas cake cupcakes for Tuesday classes. Think I should practice that and eat the samples this weekend.