Caregiving Bloopers Part 1: Going Out to Dinner, It’s an Adventure
If you are caring for a parent, child, grandparent, partner or any other person that is lucky enough to have you in their life this post is for you. I bet you have had moments that were stressful but later on you just had to laugh about it.
As a mom, wife, caregiver to Mom with dementia and pet mom, my life can get pretty hectic. If you’re like me, you forget things but have you ever actually left someone behind that you thought was in the car already? I have. I have done that and worse. Unfortunately, when I over-schedule dogs and elderly people in my care think I am temporarily insane. Even going out to dinner can be a challenge.
We are blessed to have four generations alive. Sometimes when all of us are together I lose track of who is where. Especially on family outings and trips.
Not too long ago at a buffet here in San Jose, my husband and I took two cars of family members to what was supposed to be a great dinner with the family.
My first mistake was that I forgot that my mom’s doctor said my mom needs to eat familiar foods since I have a problem sometimes with her panicking at family dinners. The Sushi part of the buffet didn’t go well.
I couldn’t find Mom for a minute and she had left the sushi area and had gone straight to the deserts and was piling up on cake and pie and swore she had eaten dinner already. She followed my daughter back to our booth and said she was glad she had room for dessert. Oh boy.
Meanwhile at the next booth, I overheard my mother-in-law saying she didn’t like all this California food and asked why we didn’t have steak. My husband told her that her doctor said she needed to eat healthier and that’s why we were at a seafood and salad buffet.
By then I was getting a migraine and I wished I had stayed home and just had my hubby barbeque something. My little niece had picked up my lobster and was making it talk like a character on Sponge Bob. That restaurant only allows one lobster per adult with your buffet items so I couldn’t get another one. She also made a house out of her clam shells and asked could she take them home to go with her Sponge Bob bath toy.
Finally when dinner was over I ran to the parking garage eager to get these people in my van and back to their homes. My husband did the same. We had parked about five cars down from each other.
I was so glad when everyone in my car was finally inside that I forgot to do a head count. I was exiting the parking lot and my cell phone rang. To my horror the phone said. “Mom 2.” Yes, my mother-in-law.
Apparently I thought she was with my husband and he thought that she rode with me. What made it worse is that we had just had a little tiff before we left for dinner. She thought I intentionally left her. Maybe my subconscious did? When I answered, she said, “Do you always leave ladies at the curb, who just had hip replacement surgery, stranded alone?” I felt so bad and I would never do that. I called my husband to turn around and get her but then I saw him ahead already merging toward the freeway.
When we got back to the restaurant, my mom said, “Oh look isn’t that Sean’s mom?” I replied, “Yes Mom we just had dinner with her and I forgot her on the curb.” For some reason my mom had a moment of clarity and said, “You have so much to do it’s a wonder you didn’t leave all of us there.” I really loved her for saying that. I happened to glance down and Mom had a tiny ice cream cone melting in her handbag. She had taken it from the buffet. She does thing so quickly sometimes I don’t know what’s going on anymore.
It’s almost Mother’s day and the family is asking if we are going out to champagne brunch this year. I think it would be safe to just do a potluck and stay away from the restaurants for awhile. I don’t want anyone else to get left on the curb. Plus we are probably banned from that place now anyway because of the dancing lobster and the stolen ice cream. They did thank me for coming and told me I had a lovely family so maybe we are allowed back.
I hope I made you laugh. I’m curious, What are some of your caregiving bloopers? I know these things don’t just happen to me.
Next time I’ll talk about why you can’t leave your donations for charity by the door when you live with someone with dementia, Caregiver Blooper Part 2.