4 hours ago
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I fret about the children who stink of dog and algae as the swimming pool turns a hideous shade of Emerald.
So what with one thing and another and another [ish] it takes me a while before I notice but once the jet lag has fizzled out it becomes obvious. It is quite obvious that Nonna is approximately 95% less annoying than usual. I consider the lack of annoyingness and wonder why this might be?
Before too long I can compose a lengthy list of all the absent annoying things, such as plaguing me for book recommendations, uprooting weeds all over the garden in helpful little piles, dead heading the roses bare handed, requesting additional pencils, erasers, paper and pens, suggesting recipes and ingredients for any given meal, to name but a few, and last but by no means least, her daily swim. Whilst in principal I’m all in favour or retirement and the easy life, I do not regard this as good trend. My mental arithmetic is poor but it all adds up to a Nonna below par, alarmingly so.
Generally speaking I believe it would be unwise to put a bonfire under any elderly relative but I know that I need to do something, although I’m not entirely sure what?
I spend a wee while rummaging around upstairs to scrape together an acceptable collection of art materials. Whilst I shouldn’t like her to exert herself, I worry about her lack of usual activities. I have no choice but to adopt another campaign in my permanent role as family nag.
Since subtly is my middle name I invade her room and launch, “how come you don’t paint any more?”
“Paint! Why aren’t you painting?”
“Ooo I don know……..too much bother I suppose.”
“Here, why don’t you have a go with these?”
“See what you can up with……..before lunch.” I give her the look, the look that I often give other family members. It’s a warning with a not so veiled implication of starvation for failure to comply.
After detailed discussions with her son, we decide that only way forward is to set the plague upon her. I enlist everyone’s help, 5 of whom seem to be permanently at home, skulling around and otherwise being useless and unoccupied. It’s almost a rota. “Go and ask Nonna if she’s painted anything yet dear, …….nicely…….. and loudly.” The compliance ratio is quite stunning to witness, as I listen to each individual trot off on request and yell at Nonna. I hope that 15 minute intervals will suffice.
She has yet to pick up a pencil but I hope to restore her to her usual standards, as illustrated above, soonishly.
For now, it’s work in progress, but I’ll keep you posted.