Last Sunday, I woke up early and was getting ready for my last outdoor soccer game of the fall season. I was happily gathering my uniform, the trainer’s tape for various aging joints and sitting down to assemble it all. It was sunny and promised to be unusually warm for a November morning; a gift.
I heard something in the baby monitor. “Help Help Help” It wasn’t panicked, but it was unusual. So I went down to check. Grace was trying to get out of bed. The gate was up and her plan was to scooch to the foot of the bed so she could squeeze out the opening to a chair that we keep there for the dog to jump on and off. I tried to convince her to hang out in bed for just another 30 minutes until the caregiver arrived, but she’d have none of that. So I decided I had to get her up.
I found the diapers, the wipes, the rubber gloves and started unwrapping the three layers of diapers the caregivers use. It was challenging getting her to lay on her back still. She kept wanting to get out of bed oblivious to the fact that she was naked from the waist down and getting wiped up. Every few seconds she’d ask, “can I get up?” I kept talking to her as soothing as possible and telling her that she could as soon as I got her dressed. It amazed me how completely accepting she was of the diapers and how normal it has become to her. She then looked at me and became very sweet and childlike. She asked how she got so lucky to have me in her life and told me how wonderful I was to take care of her.
While I was dressing her, I heard the caregiver arrive. I put Grace in the wheelchair and the caregiver walked in very surprised. She said, “Grace always wakes up with poop.” My response, “we were not disappointed.”
After soccer, I came home to Grace, “What are you doing here?”