We ended Memorial Day weekend with a good round of thunderstorms this afternoon and there could be another form of a rumble around here before long if I'm not a little more careful.
It all started when My Mom said she hated rainy days -- which floured me. I LOVE stormy weather and rainy days because of how she raised us.
When we were little she kept a stash of toys in the linen closet that we could only play with when we were sick or it was rainy. As I grew older I often wondered how the sick thing never backfired on her. Most kids want to stay home from school in the first place, if there are special toys involved, it should just up the incentive, right? I don't recall that being the case with my sister or myself. It must have been understood that we only played with those toys when it was an unavoidable sickness like the measles, chicken pox or the plague.
Rainy days, if you think about it, fall in that unavoidable category too. There's nothing you can do about being stuck in the house during a thunderstorm except maybe be scared, or in our case have fun. I think the have fun initiative grew out of someone in our house being a fraidy cat. Probably me, but I honestly don't remember. What I do remember is the feeling of anticipation building at the first sign of a dark cloud. Something special was about to happen. My Mom would gather us close and first we'd talk about how there was nothing to be afraid of as the thunder started to rumble, then we'd bake cookies, play with the sacred toys and often climb into my parent's big queen-sized bed for a group nap with My Mom telling us how awesome it was to listen to the rain as we fell asleep. I still love finding special things to do on a rainy day. Today proved no exception.
After My Mom announced that she hated rainy days, I started thinking of all the exciting activities she might enjoy while we were stuck in the house, like painting, baking, or even reading out loud. What I really wanted was a cozy afternoon nap, but she has been up half the night the last three nights, so as much as I could use a little rest, the last thing I would ever allow was My Mom to grab a little shut eye. I needed her as tired as possible so we can both sleep through the night tonight. My dire need for sleep led to a great inspiration.
I decided we'd do a little workout, and not the usual yoga stretches, I upped the ante and selected a full blown Jillian Michaels workout from the free on demand service from the cable company. (She's the tough chick from the show Biggest Loser.) I justified that I could use a little extra push as we head into bathing suit season and My Mom could use a little high energy exercise to hopefully grow so tired she just might sleep through the night. She found the new workout routine engaging alright. As always, I made her stay firmly planted on the recliner chair, but her feet were tapping, her legs were kicking and her arms were pumping in all directions as she followed the commands of this new tough TV instructor.
Evidently Jillian Michaels came from the world of kickboxing, one of my all-time favorite workouts. She incorporated a number of punching and kicking maneuvers in the sets. My Mom, much to my surprise and dismay (or more likely ultimately my demise), followed along like a pro. Those skinny frail arms were throwing all kinds of punches -- hooks, jabs, crossovers and even an elbow.
What was I thinking?!
The worst part of having My Mom act like a jack-in-the-box at night isn't necessarily sleep deprivation for me, it's trying to get her out of bed the next morning. In her defense, she's exhausted. In my mind, she needs to get up and back on schedule so we don't continue the cycle. As you know from past entries, the rise and shine routine can become rather ugly. Just in the past few days she tried to break my arm in defiance as I led her to the bathroom, she threatened to "call the cops" and yesterday she told our friend and temporary caregiver Tasha, "I'm gonna scream!" as she took a turn rattling the night owl out of bed. My Mom sincerely meant each and every one of those threats and now I've gone and taught her to punch. And not a sucker or weak punch, no, she just spent 45 minutes practicing hardcore hooks.
I can hear her in her bedroom right now humming. It's probably going to be another long night of asking her to go back to bed repeatedly, followed by a rather short morning when I try to wake her up and she knocks me out with a one-two punch. (Does anyone know if being unconscious counts as sleep???)