Life without Grandma, Part I

I’m still trying to write a post about my mother-in-law, meanwhile; I’m constantly reminded about how different our lives are now that she’s gone.

So, here is one example.

DH started coaching today so until school starts, we need childcare from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM.  Soso is usually in daycare at this point in summer for one day (in an effort to reduce our summer expenses).  We would have normally relied on Grandma to watch her the rest of the time.  It would have been very simple.  Either she would have come over or I would have dropped Soso off.  Since she has been watching Soso on and off her whole life, I wouldn’t have needed to give detailed instructions and I wouldn’t have had to worry.

My mom has kindly come over to watch Soso this week for the four hours a day that DH is coaching.  There are two immediate challenges to this solution.  My mom has health issues where she finds it difficult to walk or stand for prolonged period of time.  She also doesn’t have the strength to lift or carry a 30lbs toddler.  The other challenge is that my mom  doesn’t know how to use any of the electronic devices in my house.

Reducing physical stress was pretty simple.  We lined up DH’s aunts and uncle to come visit for an hour in the mornings on Wednesday and Friday.  On Tuesday, I’ll either be dropping off my mom and Soso at my father-in-law’s house or bringing him over to mine.  David is coming home early today and on Thursday, Soso goes to daycare.

The bigger challenge was going over all the electronic devices with my mom.  Last night, I found myself going over and over again how to turn on the TV/DVD player with her.  Then I had to write it down on a notebook.  This morning, I started putting sticky notes everywhere.  I finally winded up leaving the DVD player on showing the Main Menu screen, with a sticky on the TV On/Off button and on the DVD remote Play button.  I told her to call me on the cell or work number if she had any questions.  The ensuing conversation involved how the phone operates.  Luckily for me, I had only two buttons to explain.

When I arrived at my office, I realized that I left my cell phone at home.  So, in order to let her know and just out of plain curiosity as to how my mom and Soso were progressing, I called home around 9AM.  The answering machine picked up.  I started leaving a slow message, telling my mom to pick up the phone.  She did not pick up the phone.  I wasn’t too worried.  They could have been in the bathroom.

I tried calling at 10:40AM.  Again, the answering machine picked up.  I started leaving another message asking my mom to pick up the phone.  She still didn’t pick up the phone.  I wasn’t going to worry, when an image flashed in my head of my mom lying on the floor unconscious and Soso crying in the background.  Now with my heart in my mouth, I called DH on the cell.  Thankfully, he picked up right away and told me that he’s just pulled into the driveway.  I asked him to please enter the house immediately and make sure everyone’s OK.  Before I heard his assurances, I heard Soso’s excited voice on seeing her Daddy.  *sigh*  Apparently, I need to show my mom how to pick up an incoming call.

I’m not sure if the cost savings will be outweigh the years lost in my life span.  Good thing that isn’t the only reason why I’m doing this.

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2 thoughts on “Life without Grandma, Part I

  1. (((hugs))) It’s just so hard to deal with an unexpected tragedy, and to add on all this kind of stuff just makes it worse. I am so truly sorry. I have a similar MIL to yours, and I intend to tell her ASAP how much she means to me.

  2. This is a very important reminder to tell my MIL how important she is to me and my children. I am tearing up at the thought of me in your shoes. I’m so sorry for your loss and for the major impact it has on your family.

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