Tip-toeing to the Bathroom
My Dad would usually get wind of whatever I was doing and be all like "Jessie, don't do that." My Mom, however, was more of the type to ground me for 6 weeks at a time. I'm not even kidding there- my entire 6th grade year was mostly spent grounded due to my Mom thinking I was a "bad" kid, not having the perfect grades that she wanted, thinking I was lying my ass off to her, and being "extra." It behooved me, at the time - especially since I was grounded, to learn how to sneak.
My Dad would mail me an allowance every couple of weeks and I would either pop the screen out of my window and head off to the comic book store (which I only did a few times because I was caught once and well, yeah... We won't go there.) or I would call up Domino's and order pizza to be specifically delivered to my bedroom window. Imagine, if you will, a 12 year old me, keeping an eye out for the delivery guy and whispering loudly "Hey dude, yo! Over here! The bedroom window!"
The one thing I never accounted for was what to do with the trash. It was one thing to sneak a pizza into the house but sneaking the trash directly past my mom and into the garage with the garbage? That was another fete entirely.
My Mom would always make the comment that she hoped that one day I had a child that was like me to deal with. I was always like "Yeah, well, I'm pretty awesome so why not?" Because I truly believe that I am awesome in my own unique way. I'm not full of myself, I just like myself. Well, most of the time anyway.
My mom would be pleased to know that I am now dealing with a grown-ass child that likes to sneak as much as I do. And, that grown-ass child also is about as good at getting away with shit as I was. I am talking about my own father. The man who pretty much let me get away with murder (metaphorically speaking) because my antics amused him to no end.
Sidebar: what the hell is up with the "maternal" figures (ie my mom and stepmom) thinking that I was some sort of horrible heathen that was hell bent on destroying the world in a demon-style way? Seriously! Did I mention that I didn't even try pot until I was in my late 30s? I don't even really drink! Like Da Fuq?! ANYWHO... I digress...
My Dad, who has been living with us since October (in case you missed that bit), needs some help with certain things. He needs help with bathing, getting dressed and we generally go with him to the bathroom because he's a fall risk and he treats his walker like his own personal formula one racecar since he isn't allowed to drive. He is constantly running it around the kitchen table, corners, giggling the whole way. EXCEPT at night.... when he's most at risk to fall because the faculties are definitely not there in the evening.
We set up a baby monitor so he could call and ask us for help at night (because for some reason he goes to the bathroom almost every single hour at night) and for a while there, he was playing along. But now... I'll hear the walker engage and him shuffling down the hallway to the bathroom. I get up and scold him, trying to explain that I don't want to find him passed out or worse on the floor and would prefer to be there to attempt to catch him if he starts to fall.
And that's when it hit me- I'm a parent all over again. First, it was the baby monitor with the whole waking up everytime I heard any kind of sound whether it be a grunt, snore, whathaveyou. Now, I wake up the minute I hear the click of his hand brakes being undone on his walker. I'm desperately trying to find a solution to him sneaking. I have made him aware of how it makes me feel but all he says is "well, I just don't want to wake you up."
Of course I'm like "Dude, I hear the noise and I wake up." I am THAT nervous as to condition. The latest cardiologist appointment was them telling him his heart function has significantly gone down. He doesn't eat all that much and doesn't have the brain capacity to really do much more than sit there staring at the walls, occasionally talking or telling a story. The man is not doing well. It sucks, but it's our reality and I keep chanting the mantra that I just want him happy and comfortable and I'm trying my best to maintain an outward cheerful appearance, but yeah... It's getting harder and harder and this morning... well, this morning, after being woken up about every single hour, I get up to let the dog out and my Dad gets up.
I'm down the hall, mere steps away from my bedroom, and my Dad announces "I'm going to the bathroom, Jess." I closed my eyes for the briefest of moments and walked back down the hall to where he's now getting out of bed and I give him probably one of the crankiest look I have ever given him.
"So, now you decide to tell me?" I was pissed. I've been trying to get him to let me know for WEEKS that he was getting up. Again, it's a safety thing - he trips over things, including his own walker, on his way to the bathroom. I try and walk behind him because I don't want him to fall, hit his head, end up in the hospital or worse. I was livid. It didn't help that I had a headache from hell simply because of not getting the best sleep going on several days now. (Normally, I have nighttime back up, but my backup is visiting family up north - which I'm not complaining about that at all.)
My Dad says he doesn't want to bother me. I told him this afternoon that it would be more of a bother to plan a funeral during the holiday season than it would to take two minutes to follow him to the bathroom. I think that kind of hit home because he has been letting me know that he's going to the bathroom. We'll see if he keeps it up.