We bought the carnations and gave them to Okaasan this morning, with some jokes and laughs.
Actually, yesterday DS was off work - so we did Family Duty.
First, got Okaasan to have a bath.
We discussed about her hair washing: how recently it never looks washed. Has she forgotten how to wash her hair? Is she confused by the shampoo/treatment bottles in the bathroom? Is she only adding conditioner and not washing it out? Her hair looks dirty and matted a lot of the time. Not going to day care now, so not getting it properly washed.
DS says he sometimes opens the bathroom door when she in in there and gives her advice about the hot water level etc. I wonder if I can actually step over that personal line and join Okaasan IN the bathroom to help her?
This time he talked to her about the shampoo and treatment bottles. Maybe it worked, her hair looked a little cleaner. Afterwards I talked her through using the hair dryer and the brush - so the result looked good.
Maybe it is time we should start verbally reminding her about DOING and HOW to do hair washing?
Then we had family trip out to a local curry restaurant. Delicious curry. Okaasan loved it. Looked so happy. When our lassi drinks arrived she told us the tale about cows-behind-my-house-pre-war and how her mother told the kids to drink the warm milk...but she didn't cos mother herself didn't drink the smelly, warm stuff.
And then she told us again. And again. And again. Happily.
And on the wall by the table was an Indian craft hanging of an elephant.
THAT prompted a story about a similar hanging in a restaurant downtown...."Where I go and drink coffee sometimes"....or "where they have milk on sale"....each time she told that story it changed slightly. Mercifully really, so we could look interested eachtime!
Afterwards we walked back to the car park via a disabled people's center street stall and Okaasan chatted to the stall holders happily. Then I drove us back via some local flowering cherry trees.
All happiness and smiles.
As a friend with children once told me: it isn't necessary to go out for hours and hours to a place a long distance away. Something local and fun, easy to go and do for everyone.
Just relaxing time. She is very happy and we can do it with minimum stress.
The city office/day care center sent last month's bill and formal stuff about Okaasan quitting etc. Information about to start her up again.
Photographs of Okaasan looking pretty happy at day center. Drinking tea, eating lunch, wearing a Christmas hat, hair washed etc Happy pictures, of course.
Some of the other women in the pictures look a bit out-of-it - I wonder if those are the people Okaasan said "there's nobody interesting to talk to"? I do wonder if we sent her to day care a) too early or b) to a small place that didn't have clients with a wide enough range of mental ability.
DS says he won't show her these pictures now. In case they just bring back negative memories. Maybe in the autumn, when we try to get her interested again. Maybe.