Monday, March 28, 2011

Compression of Time Part II

My mother's bed is a consuming obsession for her. It's beyond creepy. But then again, as Anthony has astutely summed up: "She does spend a lot of time there."

Two morning's ago, she toddled into the kitchen at the outrageously early hour of 11-ish and immediately attached herself to me.

Sally: "I want my bed back."

This is about the 100th time I've gone through this issue with her. She brought her bed with her from Winnipeg, but it wouldn't fit in her bedroom, so we had to buy a smaller, single bed. Which she's been snoring like a log upon ever since.

Me: (emitting immense sigh). "What now?"

Sally: "My back is hurting me. I've been suffering with the pain, hoping I'd adjust to this bed. But it's too hard for me. I want my bed back."

Me: "Well." (I paused to give myself enough time to compose myself. I wanted to howl out loud, because the notion of my mother suffering in silence for two years with a sore back, hoping to adjust, was quite hilarious. My mother adjusts to nothing. Everything adjusts to my mother).

Me: "As you know mom, your bed didn't fit in the room. Anthony moved your bed in and out about five times, in the first month you moved here, to prove to you it doesn't fit. We're not giving you another demo."

In fact, the bed does fit. Just. Once in the room, it doesn't leave any space to walk around it. Sally would have had to pause at the entrance to the bedroom and crawl onto the bed to sleep. And crawl over the bed to reach her dresser, which wouldn't be necessary anyway, because the drawers would be blocked with her big bed in the room. So, bad idea.

After that first month, when poor Anthony assembled and disassembled the crazy-heavy teak headboard and moved the whole contraption in and out of the room at my mother's whim ("I want my bed. The bed is too big, take it out. But I want my bed back in the room. Hey, the bed is too big! Why did you move it back in here? Etc.), I put my foot down.

No more bed-moving. But every few months, my mother wakes up with the old-lady-crazy look in her eyes, and demands we give back her bed.

Me: "You do realize you've been sleeping on the single bed for over TWO YEARS? That's a long time to be trying to adjust to back pain."

Her: (mouth hanging open, swaying in the breeze.) "Huh?"

Me: "Two years. You've been her almost 2-1/2 years, actually.

Her: (cricket. cricket.)

Me: "Your old bed won't fit. We can buy you a new, single-size mattress, though, if this one is bothering your back."

Sally: (recovering power of speech) "Yes, that's what we need to do. I can't suffer like this anymore."

The Next Morning -
Me: "Anthony and I are going mattress-shopping for you mom."

Sal: "Oh you may as well forget about it. My back is fine today."

Yep. Until she gets a hankering for her old bed once again. And forgets she's been with us for this long. And makes up more lies about how she's "suffering" so she can get that old, big bed back in that little room.

Later that day, Anthony told me she had asked him recently if this was our first winter in the house.

He told her it was "our" (her included) third winter in the house. She had nothing to say to that, either. But it's clear to both Anthony and to me that the compression of time is getting worse and worse for her.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Top Ten List of Highlights...

Top ten attractions from my life in the past week:
  • It's spring break, and Anthony used a week's worth of holidays to stay home with my (our) kids. They went out for lunch and shot pool together, and he took them for their annual check-up with their pediatrician. Additionally, he made some meals, did some housework and picked me up/drove me to work when I asked. You can see why this is my #1 item.
  • My mother told me she had an appointment with the bank (another one!!!) but when I called to find out exactly when and why, they said she had no appointment.
  • My son bit me overly hard on the shoulder, albeit out of affection (I do believe?), causing me to shriek, causing Anthony to wince and tell me I was screaming too loudly, causing me to accuse him of a "blame-the-victim" mentality, causing some chilly moments, causing me once again to rethink and wonder why I ever had children.
  • Doris asked Anthony what she should give us for Christmas. She of course means last Christmas.
  • Sally went for a hair cut (a short 4 weeks since the last) because, she told me,  they'd done such a crappy job the last time around that she couldn't bear how it looked. "Why go back to a place that charges you $75 and doesn't do a good job?" I asked. No answer.
  • I keep finding the garbage in the recycling, the recycling in the cupboards and no sugar, orange juice or butter in their appropriate containers as they get used up, and never replaced. The electric cords for the fry pan and wok now reside (ie are crammed) in the tiny drawer where I keep oven mitts, because that's where my mother used to keep cords in her kitchen in the house where I grew up.
  • My fridge and freezer contain a dizzying assortment of bread bags, all containing the two heels of the bread. When I tried to throw some of these away recently, Sally gave me a filthy look and said "Oh, so YOU don't eat the ends of bread, eh?" 
  • I've been writing freelance articles in my "spare time" a lot lately. This, on top of a full-time job, and caring for an active family, is going to kill me.
  • I keep hitting my toes on the heavy boxes of backsplash tiles that we bought two months ago which are still sitting in the corner of the kitchen because the contractor changed his mind about when he could do the job.
  • the redwinged blackbirds are back in town, and singing up a storm in our backyard. Spring!