Sunday, 10 May 2015

Happy....gurgle gurgle...

Happy Mother's Day!
Hope you are being good to a mother figure in your life.
I am.
I was in the bath with mine!!!!!!

Don't think that is the usual thing to do with your beloved mother figure...usually flowers, lunch etc

Okaasan got stuck in the bath this morning and couldn't get out.
I had to jump in to the bath and haul her round carefully by holding her under the arms and pulling her....then 10 minutes later she finally managed to stand up and get out of the tub herself.

Sunday morning and bathtime. I started the bath running and alerted Okaasan as usual. Set out the chair, towels, clean clothes and hair dryer. She got into the bath about 10 am.
By 11.30 I was starting to hour is not unusual...but....

I was starting to prepare her lunch, and hoping to slip away myself for lunch out (because I am the kind of horrible daughter-in-law who tries to escape the duty lunch if I possibly can).
I called out to Okaasan thru the bathroom door: Are you ok? You've been in the bath a long time!
She answered me, but her voice sounded a bit odd.
I left it 10 minutes. Tried again. Heard a bit of water sound. A voice again: I'm ok!
5 minutes of indecision...shall I cross that privacy line by marching in on someone in the bath? Ahh....

Then I opened the bathroom door and walked in.

Okaasan was in the bath on her side. In the water. Propped up on one elbow, with her head just above the water. Very red in the face.

Oh my god.

She couldn't pull herself upright to a sitting position. Don't know HOW long she'd been on her side like that.
I jumped into the bath. Socks, leggings and all and supported her body weight. Pushing her up, pulling her round in the bath - getting both hands to hang onto the side of the bath. Let out the bath water in case she slipped and went under. Rushed to the kitchen to get a cup of cold water for her to drink.
Lots of protests of "I can do it! I can do it! Myself!!" - so I retreated. Waited upstairs nervously.

10 minutes later I went back - wondering HOW I was going to haul her upright to her feet. Found her standing naked in the kitchen. Safe. She'd got out herself. Didn't remember a thing. Wondered why I was SO relieved.

Oh my god. That was close. I could so easily have set her lunch on the table and gone out of the house for a few hours. She could have stayed in the bath like that for ages. Could have...all the variations of "worse"....
Okaasan could have died in the bath on Mother's Day. While I was sitting in the park with a sandwich.
Certainly can't leave her alone in the bath from now on. We'd thought until now that she was ok getting in and out alone. Not now.

Happy Mother's Day.

Actually we did it yesterday, because DS was home. So the three of us went out for a soba lunch and a walk round the shopping center. Okaasan enjoyed it and all was bright in the world.

The perils of blogging....
Got a e mail via the comments section last week from a researcher on a TV program: looking for "international couples" in Japan for a variety show about the shocking truth that there are foreigners leading normal lives out there in Japanland.
Would we be interested in joining the fun?

Well, now. I and he have appeared on TV a few times. Local programs to do with the FIFA World Cup and other international events. Few interviews in local newspapers.
 But this is different. They would almost certainly want to come and film our family life here at home. While it would be a giggle for us - after a massive housecleaning stress, it really wouldn't be fair on Okaasan at all. A Tv crew here in the house. 
She gets all nervous and stressed when friends come here for dinner.
TV crew impossible. 
So we replied "No" to the TV researcher.

It's funny. I have debated with myself the ethics of writing this blog about our life with Okaasan.
Dear Son knows I write this. He found out a year or two back. Wasn't too bothered.
Okaasan doesn't know. 
I have argued to myself that it is ok: I don't write anything here that I don't say to friends or students. That a blog audience is a bigger version of that.
Peeing in trash cans and domestic violence and all that...
Nobody in Okaasan's life is ever going to read this and tell her. It's an English blog. She knows so few few people.
I write with weariness and anger, with admiration and care.
A small blog is ok. I have convinced myself.

But TV would be a step far FAR too far! :-)


  1. Maybe installing a grab bar? If not possible due to odd shape of the bath tube a tension pole can serve as an alternative.


    1. Yes, there is already a big grab bar (I use it myself and I'm only 54!) - we'll check out things in Homac, they now have a big home assist stuff section. The lucky thing is that Okaasan never has a bath unless we tell her to - so there is very little danger of her getting into trouble while we are not here. But we must make sure to monitor her bath times more closely from now on.