Okaasan's major stress day.
This year plan: on BBQ day - make an appointment for her at the hair salon for a cut and perm. Then hope she goes from the salon door, across the road and onto the subway and downtown for a walk and coffee - before coming home late afternoon. Leaving only an hour or two of her being in the house while drunken merriment happens within earshot.
A bit of a hassle for me to give her lunch and take her to the salon just as the party is getting underway. But worth it to get Okaasan away from the house for her own relaxing time.
In the past she has got very stressed and angry at us and our guests. Escaping thru the window, going out and staying out until late - watching the house from afar and complaining about it all.
So. This year.
She can't have failed to notice the growing mountain of BBQ stuff in the hall and kitchen.
On Sunday morning I gave her a schedule paper:
12.45 Go by car to the hair salon
1 pm Hair appointment.
I gave it to her about 10 am.....and reminded her (although this was actually the first time she knew about it), that she had a hair appointment at 1 pm. This is the plan..
She kept putting the note in her handbag though.
So over the next hour she was endlessly confused. Came and asked me about it. I'd go into her room and find the note again - show her.
BIG discussion about "where is the salon?"...with her mixing up station names and locations.
Hopeless. She has never gone on her own to this salon. I always take her by car.
Served lunch at 11.30, while I cut up a mango plantation for fruit salad.
Guests started arriving and DS was firing up the BBQ outside. Beer and laughter.
Inside Okaasan was dressed. And picking up and putting down many of the clothes she has all over her room.
Came and said to me endlessly:"I can go by myself by subway...where is the salon?"
I tried to deflect that plan. But she was getting tense...and trying to leave at 12 o'clock.....tried telling her to wait...failed....she could hear the party and wanted to leave.
So I went with her. While she was fussing with shoes I put the car across the entrance area...and as she came out of the house bowing nervously to people I steered her into the car...as we drove to the salon she kept saying " I can get out here..." but I drove on...to the salon doors for 12.30 pm.
Half an hour early. I work for myself and if students come early they may find me stuffing a sandwich in my face, or vacuming. Probably the former. I wondered if we'd cut into the hair stylist's lunchtime.
But he was friendly about it and let Okaasan in....so I could escape to the party and join the fun.
Those are the polite pictures. Lawyers will be in contact if I post any others...
Late afternoon I checked the GPS. YAY!! Okaasan was downtown.
About 5 pm I saw she was back at our local station..I walked down and met her...carrying a cup of coffee from the 7-11 and clutching her bag. Great new hair do. Looked much better.
I walked home with her chatting, and carrying the coffee.
Guided her thru the pile of drunks outside the front door (nothing sobers you up more than having the care of an elderly in mind) and installed her back in her room with the TV set loud.
Fed her at 7 pm with a simple food box. One guest managed to ignore the "Don't enter the kitchen" sign and get in and chat to her for few minutes...but basically she could escape it all.
And interesting. This year she didn't get angry. Didn't whinge at us.
Instead, she sat on her sofa with the Tv blaring...looking a bit tense. Glancing at the window a bit. But not the pacing of past. Happily ate dinner at 7 pm and retired to the Tv again while we sat out in mosquito heaven with the last of the guests.
We are learning.....?