Because Connie called in yesterday to say she would not be able to work this evening, I took over her shift. Instead of visiting in the afternoon, I showed up at 5 pm and took Mom to Denny's.
This is a big treat. I tried to get her to let me take her to the pier to look at the ocean and push her out to a restaurant there.
"No, I don't want to do that. I'm afraid of the ocean," she said.
Finally she agreed to take a peek at the ocean from the car but not to eat there.
So Denny's it was.
Sometime I want to be able to go to Denny's and not be the star of the show.
With her in the wheel chair and me attending her, we attract a lot of attention.
We wheeled up to a table as usual, but she had a different plan.
"I want to sit by a window."
"Okay," I said and laboriously lifted her out of the wheelchair and into a booth seat by a window.
We ordered, and then she said with alarm, "I have to go to the bathroom right now!"
I didn't remind her that when one is wearing Depends, these situations are not as urgent as they might seem.
Instead I pulled her out of the booth and into her wheelchair, chatting with some people at a nearby table who had picked up a sweater we had dropped earlier.
Thank God Denny's has wheelchair-accessible bathrooms. After using the toilet, we went to the sink.
"This is fun," she said as she sat there washing her hands. In her apartment the sink is not built to allow a wheelchair to slip under it, so she rarely gets to actually hold her hands under the water and wash them. Pretty exciting.
"Yes, Denny's is always fun," I answered.
Back into the booth, she attacked her Swiss steak with mushrooms and cheese and finished the whole thing. I dawdled through my Creole scrambled eggs.
We returned to Ocean View, where I insisted on giving her a tub bath in a jacuzzi designed so the side of the tub pulls up after you get the person in to sit on the seat.
That was exciting for me, but terrifying for her. She didn't like it.
At 8:45 pm she refused to go to bed.
"I stay up until ten o'clock," she said.
"No, you always go to bed at nine," I insisted.
I called my brother and talked for an hour about family health issues.
"Now to bed," I said at 10 pm.
"No!" she protested. "I don't go to bed until ten o'clock."
"IT IS TEN O'CLOCK!" I yelled.
"I guess I have to obey you," she said, assuming her poor-me tone of voice.
Just like a child, she will keep me there all night if she can.