Saturday, November 25, 2017

Safely home again

Eating a little (late) lunch - did not feel like stopping on the way other than at the grocery - and am hoping I'll feel up to running over to school to get the grading I was too lazy to do before break.

My dad is better but not BETTER. He did get home on Monday, they have a visiting nurse come in to check on him (He has some problems with the skin on his legs, I don't know, I guess it's related to blood vessels?) and there's a PT person supposed to come in to work with him. The nurse got in once, but I guess those home-health places are really swamped these days. (I'm not sure I could do it but I admit in the back of my head the thought is, if higher ed REALLY goes south, going back to school long enough to at least get an LPN and work for one of those places....I admit my dislike of difficult people would make it hard for me, because I bet a lot of the people you have to help are difficult, and also I am not too good with things like blood or pus or human waste, so, I don't know....but it does seem to be a growing industry, and if it's a tough way to make a living, at least it's a living).

The house was....very full. My brother, my sister-in-law, their five-year-old daughter, their dog, my parents, me. It was good that I went - I did maybe half the cooking for Thanksgiving and did the dishes a couple of times. And walked the dog a few times. (My brother's back was bothering him - both he and my dad have one leg a tiny bit shorter than the other and both are too stubborn to wear the special orthotics that were made for them). My sister-in-law was mainly busy with my niece, who I guess doesn't get to see her enough because of her long work hours.

Five-year-olds, man. I had friends swear that after I spent time around the child I would want one of my own. My reaction is thus:


I don't know if she is an unusually attention-needy child, or if all kids that age are, but wow. When she wasn't velcroed to her mom she was trying to get one of us to pay attention, breaking into conversations, "needing" a snack when one of the adults was busy trying to cook a meal, etc.

I am not used to small children and I found it rather overwhelming.

I know I am, in some ways, a needy person. But yeah, not that needy.

Also, I take back about what I said once about wanting to be able to throw a tantrum and get what I want. Tantrums are ugly and undignified, even in children. I think I'd rather persist with my tendency to do more like the Kindly Brontosaurus and kind of loom there, smiling politely, and quietly restating what I would like to have happen, until someone either accommodates me or tells me flatly it's not possible.

(And honestly, I have found: "please" and "thank you" and asking quietly but firmly generally get me what I want)

On the other hand: I have a vague want for a dog now. Oh, I know: I would hate the mess an indoor dog would create (but I'd hate having an outdoor dog). It would be hard to animal-proof my home. And I'd gripe about picking up the droppings all the time (I am not the kind of person who would just leave them to be "someone else's problem") and about taking it on walks in the cold dark of winter evenings.

But the dog....really, he seemed happier to see me than anyone. I walked in the door, he saw me, started dancing around, ran up to me, put his paws on my knee, shoved his head into my hand for me to pet him, kept coming up to me and leaning against me....I suppose he remembered that I walked him in their absence last year, and also did slip him a few treats (a bit of cheese, a bit of turkey....) now and then, so maybe it wasn't as pure a love as I'd like to imagine (I have a suspicion that deep down, I believe all love is a kind of quid pro quo) but it was nice to have SOMEONE be visibly and obviously excited over my arrival...Oh, I know my parents were, but my dad was still hurting and my mom was still concerned about him and also managing a full house of people. And my brother and his family were, at the moment, dealing with something with my the dog greeted me.

I did do some knitting - there was a lot of sitting around waiting for things to happen, or waiting to need to do something. I almost entirely finished a multidirectional diagonal scarf knit of one of those "Caron Cakes." But that was the only thing I knit on; I figured the socks I brought were too fiddly if I had to drop what I was doing on short notice, or if a needle happened to get pulled out of them....(I remember being a child and menacing my mother's knitting, though I will say my niece just watched me and at one point expressed a desire to learn some time. I still think she is too young and too prone to frustration, give it a few years. I think I was a little older than she was when I first learned to crochet, but I also....think I was less of a flibbertigibbet. I know I was hand-sewing and doing basic embroidery around 5 or 6.  And I was 10 before I learned to knit, though surely younger children can and do).

But yeah. It seems kind of blessedly quiet to be back home again, where I am only responsible for myself. I did what I could to help out while I was up there - I wish I could have done more, I wish I could have made the time to do an extensive grocery run for my mom (right now, when my dad needs more help, she doesn't like to leave him for long periods).

I need to put my clothes away (at least I was able to get what I had worn run through the washer) and  go get my grading and do my Sunday school lesson and some piano practice and wash my hair....tomorrow is decorating-the-church day and I have to admit I'm ready for that. And ready to have a little more time to "myself," even if some of that time is taken up with grading and the like....

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