Saturday morning I was ready to go to Michigan, then I heard Grace stir about 40 minutes before the caregiver was due to arrive. Forty minutes is a long time in the world of “now.” I knew I had to get her cleaned up, dressed and start breakfast. I walked in to her room to find her wide awake with one hand holding on to the arm rail tightly. She looked at me and a childish toothless smile spread across her face with a smile that included every part of her.
“Oh, I’m so glad to see you!!! How did you find me?? Could you hear me??”
I have to admit, she’s darn cute like that.
I told her that I heard her and I was here to get her cleaned up and dressed.
Immediately I recognized my error. Too many thoughts in one sentence and not enough volume so I just told her ‘good morning, sunshine.’
She has a new behavior. When she’s being cleaned up or transferred physically (for example, chair to couch), she screams. Well, it’s not exactly a blood curdling, hair raising, chainsaw massacre scream, it’s more” bad-actress-in-a-bad-dramatic-play” scream. There are little bursts of the affect. The caregivers are on to her too. They just go on as if it wasn’t happening. I’ve rolled an eye or two at her. And when she is done screaming, the event never happened. It is gone and we are now in the next moment of ‘now.’
I was ready for the litany of drama during the cleaning, I warmed up my hands (one of her big complaints). Much to my surprise, no scream. She just kept saying how lucky she was to have me there. Grace had the “cute” on high volume. It was hard to not get sucked in.
We discussed color. She has a rainbow of pull on, elastic waist slacks, so I was able to comply with any requests. That day was good for purple. I brought the pants and just like a child getting to wear her favorite bunny shirt, she said, “Oh, I LIKE those!”
I dressed her and used a lot of the near peek –a-boo tricks I had leftover from dressing toddlers. She responded to each trick, each coo from me. And smiling? As wide as she could.
I got her lined up with the walker and we shuffled out to the couch. Once there, I built her a chocolate breakfast; chocolate Cheerios in chocolate milk (blended, of course) . I fed her and she eagerly gulped it down. I should just break down and get the chocolate kids’ cereals that I never bought for my own children.
The caregiver arrived and Grace was all smiles.
It was a good morning.