Because today is Mom's 87th birthday, we had lots of plans. In addition, her weekend 2-10 pm caregiver, Racquel, had a sister visiting from the Philippines and took the weekend off.
As it turned out, I was with Mom constantly from 6:30 am to 9:30 pm. By the end we were both giddy.
Power struggles, role reversal--everything was funny.
For example, brushing teeth.
"Do you brush them or do I?" I asked, not remembering caregiver details.
"You do," she giggled.
"Oh yeah? I think you can just brush them yourself," I said, trying not to laugh.
"You're making me pee in my diaper," she warned helplessly. "Now we have to change it again."
"Oh, all right," I said, the complaint in my voice setting her off again.
"You didn't put any powder in," she complained, knowing she was being demanding.
"You don't need any more," I countered.
"I always make them put it in. What if they say 'Why should I, if your own daughter doesn't?'"
"Well, that's just tough," I answered. "I'm not putting in any powder." And my refusal sent us both into hysterics again.
"Okay, time to go to bed," I said, trying to recover the voice of authority.
"I'm not ready for bed," she said. "I usually sit in the chair and watch tv."
"It's 9 0'clock," I said. "The time when you always go to bed."
"But I was planning to stay up until 10," she countered, giggling at herself for sounding like a six-year-old.
"Well, I'm going to go home and go to bed, so you should be in bed before I leave," I argued. "You'll just fall asleep in your chair, and then someone will have to get you into your bed."
"Oh, all right. At least it's not a raggedy nightgown tonight."
"Oh yeah, poor you. But we got rid of those ragged gowns. We bought two new ones today."
"Yes," she admitted.
"You've had a nice day. You went to church, out to lunch, home for your birthday cake, opened presents. And everyone at church sang Happy Birthday to you."
"It was embarrassing."
"Not grateful, are you?" I commented sarcastically, as we both started laughing again.
"No--you told them I was 87."
"It's a big deal to be 87. Most people don't make it that far."
Somehow she ended up in bed, tucked in, and I ended up running for the exit door to the secure floor, punching in the code to leave.
We made it through the big birthday with enough fun and attention to last until next year, I hope.