Sunday, June 05, 2011

At home with the wrinklies!

It all started about 5 weeks ago. My mother had trouble with her Gallbladder and was admitted into the Heath Hospital. Dad is not too good at getting around Cardiff with his All Wales free bus pass. He claims he could do open-sea navigation at the age of 15 but our city bus service is too much of a challenge for his 78 year old limbs and brain. So whenever I was available to visit my mother in hospital, I would pick Dad up in our car, bring him home, have a meal together and then go to the Heath Hospital. That way, Gail and I were sure that Dad had a good meal inside of him, Dad did not get lost around Cardiff and Mam got a visit from her husband of 53 years. Mam was concerned that Dad could cope without her doing things for him. So Gail and I took Dad under our wing, fed him, gave him beer and ferried him around. But Mam was also concerned about being discharged from hospital and going back to the flat to live with and care for Dad. Dad does seem to enjoy being looked after by Mam and leaves things to her. Dad does not seem very independent and relies on Mam to do everything.

So Gail and I had a chat and offered to take Mam and Dad in, so that Mam could recover fully before going back to the flat and fussing over Dad. Yesterday we took them back to their flat 2 miles away from our home. Mam and Dad had stayed with us for 23 days.

So, how were those 23 days living with the wrinklies? What have we learned?

I love both parents and I am a mixture of both. My marriage to Gail is different to the marriage between my Mam and Dad. We have a different way of living and sharing household tasks. We have a very positive outlook on life, where Mam and Dad appear rather negative.

Dad rules the television in the flat with a narrow range of programmes and Mam does not get a look in. Gail rules the television here and views a broad range of light entertainment programmes. Dad did not watch much television here but Mam watched loads of programmes with Gail that she would not have the opportunity to watch in the flat!

Gail and Mam talked for hours on end, which was a little noisy for Dad, so he went into the conservatory and shut the door to keep out their gossip!

We were surprised at how much Sherry Mam and Dad consumed. We also noticed how much Whisky Dad had drank and how much my beer collection had dwindled. I never knew Mam and Dad drank so much!

Gail and I are used to doing things a certain way and live in harmony together. We did notice that Mam and Dad always appeared to be getting in our way. Mam was always following Gail into the kitchen and standing where Gail wanted to be. Dad was forever standing in doorways blocking people's path.

Mam enjoyed her food but Dad picked at it like a small child, never clearing his plate. This waste really annoyed Gail and I.

The company was really good for Mam and Dad loves our house, where he spent many an hour in the garden smoking his pipe. Mam recovered from her illness and was very happy living with us.

It was different living with Mam and Dad, just like an Indian family. We realized how much we enjoy there just being the 2 of us in our home. We know how different our marriages are and how our funny little habits effect everyone. We now know how much we value our personal space and the way we do things as a couple.

Mam and Dad enjoyed staying with us but we felt that 23 days was long enough. I love both my parents but it is lovely getting our personal space back. Gail and I feel quite relieved now that Mam and Dad have gone back to their flat.

So, back to normal and that is why posts to this blog have not been regular.
Ead and noted:-))
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