Dolores has made it a habit as we decide to retire to our rooms to ask me if it will disturb me if she watches TV (in her room) for a little while. If you live with elderly people, one thing you notice is that they say things — sometimes the same things every day — but it is entirely new and fresh for them. Several times recently, in my overly hectic work weeks, I have answered, “No, I’ve told you Mom. The TV is fine as long as you close your door. ” And she explains that she doesn’t want to disturb me. And I’m a bit bothered because she doesn’t remember.
I decided I got the lesson. So, when, last night, after we had a simple supper followed by a little square of chocolate, I was ready to go lie down and read, she posed the same question.
We were standing in the dining room, and I listened to her. Then I said, gently with a voice that had just thought of the answer, “That will be fine, Mom. You watching TV will not disturb me.”
She looked happy and nodded. So I added, “And if your TV does bother me, how about I come stomping in your room and yell at you?”
That cracked her up. She practically fell on my shoulder laughing and hugged me, “You’re such a great daughter.” We both laughed.
The moral of the story: Never tell an 86 year old “I already told you.”