Friday, July 3, 2015

a typical day in the nest

Morning has broken - my mother will rise and turn the television on by 7am and it will remain on until bed time. I hate television.

I squabble with the dog all the way around the block - he is afraid of an increasingly inconvenient list of things  all of which can be found in our 'hood or flying overhead (drug houses, airforce jets, small poodles, eagles, strange smells, hoon drivers, the rubbish truck) we tend to go the direction he decides moment by moment, is less threatening, and usually end up stranded with no "safe" Fizzy approved way of getting home.

While my parents breakfast at a table that had been almost completely set after dinner the night before (tablecloth, cups, saucers, bowls, cutlery, cereal... basically everything but milk and the teapot) I rush to the computer because my first thought is whether any orders have come in for my business Starzyia overnight, or if I have any customer questions to respond to, I love this!

I lovingly wrap any orders for my customers so I can ship them when I go to the shops, which is early, but fits around any doctors appointments my parents might have.

We shop or run errands.... if Dad comes there is a walker to collapse and shove into the boot and he likes to do it himself (which takes 50 times as long as if I did it but its better if I stand back and let him do it himself while I cop dirty looks from passers by at the sight of an 80 year old struggling to lift a walker into or out of a car while I stand doing basically nothing)

No matter the size of my "to do" list compared to the size of their lists, I will always, always be the one waiting for my parents. Its impossibly freakish the way it turns out. I play games on my ipod while waiting. Sometimes I wait so long I worry they have forgotten where we said we'd meet and agonize over whether I should look for them at one of our other meeting places. Sometimes I wonder if at least one of them has collapsed in the centre and I can't understand any of the PA announcements in the mall.... its all gibberish. I could be getting paged and I wouldn't know.

My father who recently passed his driving test to remain on the roads, will insist on driving and will quite roughly hit the curbs at least once there and back. It makes me incredibly nervous when he checks his wrist watch while driving, fails to register the time, and looks about three more times before asking me what time I think it is. Why time is important I don't know, none of us have anywhere to be in life, really. Though I think about Hawaii quite often.

After unpacking any shopping, I have to take the dog out at least to the park (3 houses down) or to the end of the street because he absolutely will not take a crap in our yard, though my life would be much easier if he would. He likes to do it in the 'hood to mark his territory. He is submissive to every other dog in the world but he can fake a good confident "this is mine" poo, I think, I'm only guessing.

At least once a day the phone will ring and my dad will answer it even though he cannot hear anything on the phone, and usually ends up hanging up because he couldn't understand the person's accent, or if the person is lucky, he will come and grab either Mum or myself to get to the bottom of what is going on.

At least once a day the phone will ring and my mum will hang up summarily on the person, because when she said "hello" they didn't say "hello" back right away which she believes is 100% proof that the person is in a call centre. They might just be a medical receptionist distracted mid ring by a patient or other staff member or any number of other legitimate callers who have just been given the Short Shrift.

I hardly ever answer the phone. I'm the one who can hear, does understand, doesn't abuse a call centre person until they've earned it, but I HATE phone calls.

Lunch time! I eat in my room while watching an episode of whatever show I'm binge watching on dvd.

After lunch I either: create new products; conduct photo shoots; write blog articles or my email for my VIP members; update bookkeeping; unpack supplies parcels; shop for supplies online; or when it hasn't been achieved in the morning - housework or garden and yard tasks my parents can't do.

At least once every hour while they are awake, my parents have a bickering match that begins over not being able to hear or understand each other and sometimes I have caught them arguing the exact same side of an issue only in different words and not comprehending that they are actually in complete agreement with each other. I face plant.

Nearly every day I will be actively involved in a dispute with one or both of my parents, in which I am treated incredibly rudely, and let's face it, I'm not one to cope well with being treated unfairly. Because of the way I was treated by my father as a child, I refuse to take abuse from him now. So when I call him on his current behaviour.... which I call "holding a mirror up" things tend to go badly. My intention is to show him how he has just treated me, but being unable to perceive that in the first instance, he still cannot detect it when it has been replayed for him. Its the biggest emotional void in my day and is one of the things I have to work on letting go of. But it sucks that I have to let go.

There's usually no way in hell I can get access to one of the toilets when I need it, because since Mum had bowel cancer she has had irritable bowel syndrome, and Dad has heaps of troubles himself. He will usually crap in the bathroom in the morning when I want to clean my teeth. Then Mum does it. Then Dad does it again. There is always spare underwear and a plastic bag in the car glove box. Unless I go to consult the map and the underwear is no longer spare... Eww!!!

Dad likes my cooking, mum does not, plus Mum can no longer eat foods that contain fructose since her bowel surgery. I don't like Mum's cooking (and never have) and don't want to kiss goodbye to so many gorgeous fruits and vegetables, plus I don't really eat meat... so every day there are two dinners prepared in our house. But not at the same time because the kitchen is too small. So I often cook early in the day and reheat for dinner. If I'm smart and cook for 4, I can get by having a day off in between cooking, and have a hot lunch and hot dinner every day. I buy my own groceries and only make the things I like, so its pretty good.

I come home from walking the dog to potent mixed aromas - Deep Heat and gravy would be one of my least favourite combinations (considering I hate both, and together, forget about it!) Whatever the smells are that day, they are bound to clash with the smell of my dinner.... and again, I eat alone in my room. Separate meals, at separate times (I can't force myself to eat dinner at 4.30-5pm every day anyway) this is the most independent part of my day.... the closest I come to living alone.

The dishes are washed and put away, the table is set for the morning, and I work on Starzyia tasks until 7.30 which is my designated computer shut down time. Relaxation begins and the dog loves his cuddles on the bed while we watch an episode or two on dvd.

A basic day in the nest! There are lot of things that are the same each day, but the variations are insane - the actual subject of any bickering match is sure to be one for the record books. I hate the tension, I like peace and quiet, but as long as we are having insane arguments and getting in bizarre predicaments I figure I might as well treasure them as the uniquely hysterical hilarious moments of our lives. There will be plenty of them. I hope they make you smile.


  1. Sucks being an adult and living with disabled people!

    1. I find the worst part is that I live with them instead of them living with me - I would recommend to anyone considering caring for parents if possible to get them to move in with you not the other way round - asking permission for things when you're an adult is really, really hard!