At Home to Replace the Sitter

Today was my day to donate platelets at the Red Cross. When I got home, the first thing the sitter said was, “She is so smart.” I said, “I know she is.” Then Mary explained why she said that. She told me that she was watching a TV show with a judge in a courtyard scene when Kate said, “That’s not right. It’s . . .” My Kate, always the English teacher, had corrected the grammar used by someone on the show. Mary added, “And she wasn’t even watching the show. She just heard it.” I told her our grandchildren could tell their own stories of being corrected by Nan. Then she said, “Last week, she corrected me.” I didn’t tell her I have been corrected quite a few times over the years. I love knowing that she is still able to detect errors in grammar.

After Mary left, I walked over to Kate. She said, “I’m so glad to see you.” I said, “I’m glad to see you.” Then she added, “I really mean it. I feel so much better when you are here.” When I had walked in the room, it sounded like the two of them were getting along fine. I said, “But you like Mary, don’t you?” She told me she did, but “it isn’t the same.” I gave her a hug, and she said, “I really mean it.” One of the many things for which I am grateful is that Kate is so loving and appreciative. That strengthens my desire to be the best caregiver I can be. She makes it easy.

After that, she said she wanted to brush her teeth before leaving. As usual, she didn’t even ask about going out, she just assumes when I return we will leave together. So far that is what we have done every time I have come home after the sitter has been with her, never because I initiated it.

In a few minutes, I heard her call me from the back of the house. When I reached her, she said, “Where are we staying tonight?” I told her we were going to stay “right here in our own home.” She said she thought so. I walked back toward the kitchen and heard her call again. This time she pointed to a tube of toothpaste and her toothbrush and asked (using hand signals) if she should bring them with her. I told her I thought we could leave those at home. She said, “I thought so.”

When we got in the car, she asked, “Where are we right now?” I told her we were at our house in Knoxville.” Once again, she said, “I thought so.” She may have, but I know that today she has asked that quite a few times. Obviously, she is not sure. As I have said before, she doesn’t show any signs of frustration when she asks. She seems to be adapting well. Something else to be grateful for.

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