I finally made it to go visit Grandma. It’s been awhile. Things have just felt so busy. Not productive, just busy. That means that nothing is getting done and we have no time to get anything done either.
My trip to the assisted living center was an event, as everything with the kids becomes an event leaving everyone so exhausted that we have to go take a four-hour nap when we get home. I was driving the Jeep, for the most part I’m always driving the Jeep. That thing is a pain in the royal ass for me to cart the kids around. The littlest one is still rear facing so how do we get her in and out of the Jeep…though the back window. Yes…the back window. It’s Wrangler, and this Wrangler has no running steps on the side. It’s just a huge step up into the Jeep, which is especially hazardous if you’re trying to get into it holding a 25 lb baby and then maneuver yourself around to in the wee back compartment to get the baby into the rear facing seat, hence thought the back window. This back window thing is amazing easy for Husband and no so much for me because I am short and therefore have short arms. I just don’t have the reach to get baby into the back without touching my knees all over the back bumper. It’s winter, and everything is covered in salt. It’s the season where is you get within a one foot span of a vehicle all of your clothes will be covered in salt particles. I’m also currently suffering from a stupid rotator cuff injury that happened last November. (I’m also not very good at taking the time off to let it heal, unfortunately.) So once I get baby into the Wrangler by way of half climbing on the bumper and depositing her all cattywampus into the bucket I then climb into the back. My feet are stationed on the bumper and my entire upper body is in the back of the Jeep balanced over the seat and car seat so I can adjust the baby and strap them into the carseat. As this is going on baby is grabbing at every string, zipper, glasses and anything else I may have on my person. This does not make the weird situation any better. Eventually I get her strapped in, then it’s time to work on the other one.
Running boards would be extremely helpful, but we don’t have those, so instead of the other one being able to climb up on her own I have to pick her up put her in the Jeep. Since she has to sit behind the driver’s seat and that seat has less room to move up it’s not just a simple place kid in back seat. Oh NO! It’s pick kid up then turn her on her side like we’re playing airplane flying and then slide her backward into the itty bitty space between the seat and the roll bar. At this point I set her on the back floor and she can climb into the car seat herself. Thank goodness for that, because previously I would have to put her on the floor, the climb into the back, partially sit on the back of the folded up seat and then lift her into the car seat. It was super awesome on my back. Now, I still have to climb in and sit on the back of the folded up car seat but now I just have to buckle her into the seat. Not too bad, but this is a three-year-old so as I’m trying to buckle her in she’s kicking the window, or me, or grabbing the baby which then cause the baby to scream bloody murder.
Eventually everyone is in their seats. Then I go back inside to get a Coke, because by this time I need a freakin’ Coke.
Then we’re off. We navigate the driveway which has become a hazard all its own with gigantic ice berms only to hit the road which is an ice two-track, but then we make to the main subdivision road and that’s all good. Until we have to get on the main roads where I can’t see over the snow mounds in a Jeep Wrangler because the things are so damn high.
We get to the assisted living center. The massive amounts of snow have taken their toll there as well. It looks like the assisted living center has decided not to find a company to come and dump truck all their snow away and have pushed the massive piles out-of-the-way as much as possible, however that leaves about 1/3 rd of the open parking spaces actually available. The parking lot was something out of Mad Max only instead of sand, snow. People were parking all over the place and some mini bus couldn’t get though the one lane lot. I ended up parking in/on a snow bank. The Jeep might be a pain in the ass to deal with getting kids in and out but damn, I CAN park where ever the hell I want, including a snow bank, and not have to worry about getting back out.
Once in the snow bank I retrieved the children which is a reverse process as described above.
I was told that Grandma lived all the way at the end of the last building. This I took to mean the very last room of the last building of the complex. Uh…no. She’s in what I could call the beginning of the building, so I walked, carting my 25 lb baby, a stack full of kid stuff, a gift and toddler to the complete wrong side of the building only to find out that it was the other end of the building that I needed.
When we got to Grandma’s room she goes “Oh! You came!” Like it was some huge surprise, I only called an hour earlier to tell her I was going to be there as soon as I fangled the children into the car (and yes, it took me that hour to get them out the door). Then we chatted. I thought Grandma looked quite well, much better than I had expected. She talked about wanting to go home and silly things my Aunt and Mom do and I laughed. Then she talked to the kids and gave them jelly beans which one of them decided were hers to dole out to people if she thought they needed a jelly bean (which means she ate 80% of them herself.) The baby thought it would be great to get into to everything and in her search found a bag of cheese popcorn. That was a big deal. They ran around eating cheese popcorn and wiping their grubby hands on EVERYTHING as I tried my best to wipe up cheese smears all over the room.
Grandma informed me that this week (tomorrow) she is going on an outing to the dollar store. The Family Dollar, ugh, they could at least go to a good dollar store such as the Dollar Tree (best dollar store EVER). Grandma was very excited about this outing. She at first told the staff she could not go because she could not walk. They had to explain it to her that she would be going in the wheel chair…that was amazing to Grandma and she spend much of the time pondering out loud how they were going to take the wheel chair and all to the Family Dollar. I explained to her that they have a special bus with a lift. I then riffled through her monthly paper work from the center to look at what events they were having. I remember the events from with my Dad’s mom was in the same center. I asked her want events she had participated and which ones she thought she might like. I said “Do you go play Bingo?” That was in truth a dumb question. I knew she played bingo because my mom told me. Grandma was bitching to my mom about how boring it was there as two ladies from down the hall come wheeling into her room going “Hey Gennie! You coming down for bingo? It’s such a good time when we can all sit together,” or something like that about hanging out together. I just wanted to see if she would tell me she went down to bingo or if she was going to say it was boring. She says “Just about every day. I win most of the time. I typically take the candy bar. I’m saving them to give away but sometimes I eat them.”
Then it was back to talking about how amazing the Family Dollar trip is going to be. She also told me about how they go to the library. They only do that once a month she said she wasn’t feeling the library that day. I tried to talk her into going to the next one and that we could meet up. They happen to go to the library on the same day/time as kids time. Then I read off all the things I thought she might like, I left off the toddler-esq craft events they throw almost daily. They have a day planned to go to the one of a kind local doughnut shop. When I told grandma what was lifted she seemed pretty excited about that, hopefully she signs herself up, (not that she needs any doughnuts but she’s 90 so who cares). There is also a trip to the museum. Grandma is itching to get home and I can understand that but I tried to convince her that when she was there to take advantage of the things she can do there, like going on trips down town. When I left she seemed to the point where she might take my advice. That however was short-lived.
On Sunday we went to have dinner with my mom, she was giving me the report on Grandma. I get one every Sunday. My mom is filling me in on the weeks events, when I told her that I went to visit, and then I told my mom about the events. I then learn from my mom that between the time I was there and my mom went a few days later that Grandma had decided that she was going home. That’s all fine and dandy, but she has decided that she is going home at the end of the month. Everyone count how many days until the end of the month…not that many. And in truth there are not enough days to get her house ready for her to move back home. There are things that need to be figured out and schedules to be coordinated where most everyone works so that leaves only the weekend and there are only two weekends left.
I really had the hope that she would have decided to enjoy the time at the assisted living place taking the opportunity to do fun stuff when there, and then make a plan to go home, but no. Old people. I fear the day when I have to be in this position with my own mom as I don’t get to share the responsibility it’s just me and secondly Grandma is at least seemingly good-natured about everything. My mom will just be surly. She once said “I’m not moving out of this house unless it’s in a box,” and I fully believe her to stick to that until I have to force her into an assisted living center where she will be bitter and angry at me like my dad’s mom was to my dad to the end of her days.