4 hours ago
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Young "puppies" need supervision, training and lots of luvvies. With all the children at school, I decide to make a start, one on one.
It’s a dampish day but nothing by comparison to England.
At the door of the garage I pause. Maybe it would be good to give Nonna a breath of fresh air at the same time? Should I really rouse her from her morning nap? I pout as I already know that this will mean a considerable delay. I unhook the lead to let Thatcher free in the house and go to Nonna’s room. She agrees with alacrity.
Although she is already dressed, we both know that she prefers to change her clothing to meet the public. I remind her about the cold, to dress up warmly, lots of layers and gloves and hat and scarf. She shoes me away, pesky annoyance that I am.
I sip coffee, menu plan and make a wide variety of phone calls to leave messages. By the time she reappears I am already half way through my to do list.
“Do you want to go and get your gloves?” I bellow, nodding at her bare hands. She returns some while later, still without gloves.
“Shall I go……..” I give up, walk past her to retrieve gloves, hat, scarf, glasses, bag, sunglasses, emergency pill pot and a hanky, thus saving considerable amounts of time, confusion and irritation for us both.
Once we are all in the car, two of us are strapped in. I remind Nonna about the current legal status and safety issues, a variation on my son’s theme, every trip, every time. I have great experience in the field of unwieldy seat belts, unco-operative catches and motor co-ordination, both fine and gross. I lean across her in the passenger seat as her hands flutter ineffectually, “there! All set now?” I check, just in case there are any other last minute matters.
“Ready!” she beams back.
I check the whimpering back seat of the travel sick hound. Small and frequent town trips will hopefully help him acclimatize, given time, exposure and gradual de-sensitization. Nonna chats during the journey. She covers her familiar topics thoroughly several times. I focus on driving but keep tuned in to the vomit machine in the rear. Are the seats really covered completely? Will he manage to dislodge all the old towels? He’s already managed 7 minutes with his breakfast intact.
On arrival I park at the curb and ease my passengers onto the sidewalk, one reluctant, one unsteady. Nonna has abandoned the use of a cane, as a cane is only for elderly and infirm persons. The snazzy stick-come-crutch, left over from a skiing accident, fails to tempt her. She’s not fooled for a moment, wise to all manipulations and manouvres.
We progress up the incline of the bridge. Thatcher, a country born dog, is also learning about fearful things, skateboards, cyclists, traffic and strangers. With a firm grasp on the lead we tread forward and upward, I hope. Nonna begins to huff and puff, not because she is tired but as a pre-cusor to word production in the wrong language. If you think and speak and are Italian, then sometimes automatic translations into English need lubrication to switchover.
“So……wot you tink den?”
“Dez tings,” her hand gestures and body posture lead me to look down, at her feet. Her feet are sockless in a pair of backless clogs.
“Where are your socks?” I ask rhetorically.
“I din’t know we were going for a walk,” she states. My exasperation is outweighed by the need to protect diabetic digits from the cold. “Come along!” I link arms with her as we swing back towards the car, dragging Thatcher in our wake. There is no point in pursuing the matter. Better to quit whilst we’re ahead. Nonna beams amiably, “so den Maddy?” I am beyond grumpy.
“Wot you say to dat den?”
“Say to what?”
“Your nice life ere?”
“Yes………I’m very lucky.” We have already had this conversation many times, how fortunate I am to be graced by children and an exceptional husband, not necessarily in that order.
“I tort young people knew about such tings.”
“What young people?”
“Now you ave such beautiful children instead of your freedom.”
“That’s not my fault it’s his………your son’s fault!”
“I tink you were a co-conspirator.”
“Me? Never. I was asleep at the time.”
We chortle together as we stride down the hill.