Thirty-three years ago, with the birth of my last child, I learned how to breathe using a technique called Lamaze (a technique using hee-hee-hoos) to manage pain. Well, to be perfectly honest, it really didn’t work all that well back then, but it has come in handy in dealing with my mother.

Today for instance, is Sunday, or what my mom calls Big Paper Day. I get up early, take a shower, and sit quietly reading the paper. My husband got up about forty-five minutes later. We smiled and whispered and enjoyed about thirty minutes before mom got up.

As soon as we heard mom getting up, my husband decided to run errands (Target, Vons, and Home Depot). I decided not to go with him; since my mom didn’t really eat anything the day before, I wanted to make sure she was okay.

So I sat in the corner of the living room reading the big paper. Mom came down the hall, passed me, and went into the kitchen. She opened the door into the garage and yelled.

“Nancy, Nancy!”
“I didn’t see you sitting there, why are you hiding?”
“Mom, I’m not hiding. I’m sitting here, reading the paper.”
“Well, I didn’t hear you.”
“Mom, I’m reading to myself, not aloud. Anyway, you passed right by me.”
“Next time say something, so I know where you are.”

Hee-hee-hoos, hee-hee-hoos.

So I got up, thinking I would go into the den with my mom and have a pleasant morning. I gave her some Ensure and put on the news. They’re showing a view of Burbank. The sky is clear and a beautiful shade of blue, the mountain has a dusting of snow.

“Where’s this fire?”
“What fire?”
“The one they’re showing.”
“Mom, they’re showing Burbank.”
“Look how the fire left everything.”
“Mom, there’s no fire, that’s not devastation, it’s Burbank.”

Hee-hee-hoos, hee-hee-hoos.

I sit a while longer and get up to put things away. I go into the extra room and start doing things when my mom walks by. So she doesn’t think I’m hiding, I say,

“Are you going to take a bath?”
“You scared me, why did you scare me?”
“Mom, I didn’t mean to scare you, I’m just asking if your going to take a bath.”
“Well, you did. First you hide, and then you scare me.”
“I’ll take a bath when I’m ready.”
“You really don’t need to be here, I don’t need you.”

Hee-hee-hoos, hee-hee-hoos.

I laid low until my (favorite) cousin, Salle, called. She would be stopping by for a few minutes with her two kids. I hung up the phone and told my mom Salle would be over in about thirty minutes.

“Why, didn’t you tell me she was coming over earlier?”
“She just called.”
“Why didn’t you tell me to take a shower?”
“Mom, I asked you earlier.”

Hee-hee-hoos, hee-hee-hoos.

“Nancy, start the water for my shower.”
“Nancy, get me a towel.”
“Nancy, hook my bra.”
“Nancy, do my catheter.”
“Nancy, get my dress down.”
“Nancy, make me a cup of coffee.”
(Remember, she doesn’t need me.)

Hee-hee-hoos, hee-hee-hoos.

Salle came and we had a nice visit. (Salle’s father was my mom’s younger brother.) She went through similar experiences with her dad, so she can relate to what I’m going through. I only wish that she would have told me about her difficult times. If I knew then what I know now, I would have been there for her. Forgive me, Salle. This one’s for you.

Hee-hee-hoos, hee-hee-hoos.

So, it’s only a little passed noon. Mom wants something sweet before lunch. Chocolate Ensure doesn’t count, so she eats Mexican sweet bread and milk. She goes to her room with her goodies and all’s quiet.

It’s three thirty and I finally get her to eat something.

“Your chicken doesn’t taste like chicken.”
“Mom, it’s shrimp.”
“Well, then it doesn’t taste like shrimp.”
“Mom, where’s the tails from the shrimp?”
“I ate them.”

Hee-hee-hoos, hee-hee-hoos.

“I ate my vegetables.”
“I know you would, they had a pound of butter on them.”
“Do we have any cookies? All I want now is a little something until dessert.”
“Before you go, turn on the TV and make it louder.”
“Mom, it’s already loud, you need a hearing aid.”
“I don’t need a hearing aid, I could hear it, I just can’t make out what their saying.”
“Then you need a hearing aid.”


She is fed and content until later this evening when she wants dessert.

I check in on my husband. He has been redoing the extra bedroom. He did a wonderful job making a coffered ceiling, crown molding, new fan, and paint. He plans to do one room at a time until the house is redone. He is a Saint.

My BF Nancy called, we brought each other up on our families.

I started to clean the kitchen and my mom is standing in front of the refrigerator (either she forgot she just ate, or likes the channel) so I’ll just wait until she gets cold or the program’s over.

Hee-hee-hoos, hee-hee-hoos.


2 Responses to “Lamaze”

  1. 1 Tamara January 10, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Oooh, Nancy.. you crack me up! I would go nuts, nuts I tell ya!

  2. 2 Muriel February 6, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Tell M. to lay off with the phone calls so you can write a new entry. It’s been a month!

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