A walk in the park.

I found a wheelchair for Grandma at a yardsale for 20 bucks!! It’s nice to be able to get her out of the house once in awhile. Her walker is fine but she can’t go that far.

An actual walk in the park is a good release for the not-so-much-a-walk-in-the-park that our lives can sometimes be. This walk was especially needed and pretty awesome!

We went to Blanford Nature Center. We saw Grandma’s favorite animal, Owls, and Natalie’s favorite, Bobcats.

But, I am not going to lie. The struggle is real for me on these outings.

We can’t just go out the front door like normal people do.

We have to go through the garage because we have a weird sidewalk. Almost always there is a pile of crap in my way that I have to move. Because. HOARDERS. So I throw on Nick’s flip flops to quick clear a path through the garage and open the door.

Then, I forget to shut the house door before I open the garage door. Because. Adhd.

Then the dog gets out. She has learned ALL my tricks. Now I have to actually get in the car and start driving away before she thinks I am serious enough that she will get in the car so I can catch her.

In the mean time, Natalie has gotten outside as well, saw me “driving away” and is now SCREAMING through the neighborhood that I forgot her.

Her tears subside as I drag my 110 lb jerk of a dog through the yard to the house, where Grandma is standing in the hall, with her socks in her hand, looking for her purse.

I run back outside to get Natalie, she is now crying because she wants to go and thinks we are not going because she has to go back in the house. There is no reasoning with her. Because. Toddler.

After a long battle she finally comes in. (Reality check: I carry her in while she tries to scratch my face) Grandma is still not wearing socks but she did find her purse. I remember that I should put Natalie on the toilet.

Natalie is screaming, “I don’t WANT to go potty, Mom!!” sitting on the toilet, and now Grandma is yelling that I need to put her socks on for her. I leave Natalie on the toilet to go help Grandma.

Natalie doesn’t use the toilet like I asked her to. She pulls her pants up by herself though, which is a bonus.

I roll up Grandma’s socks to avoid touching her feet. Because. Old people feet. I discreetly hold my breath, because when I put the socks on her feet her dry skin clouds through the air like dust. Its so gross. I am a rogue lawyer. Not a podiatrist. I am allowed to feel that way.

I am polite and helpful though. And I wash my hands quietly afterwards.
Now Grandma can’t find her shoes. Natalie has taken her shoes off. And I realize I am still rocking Nick’s giant flippy floppies.

Now Grandma insists that Natalie needs a coat. Its 90 degrees out. Dementia will do that to you. There is no use arguing. I find Natalie a thin hoodie.

Grandma finally stands up and starts the trudge to the car. This is not easy for her. Its painful. Its really, rrrreeeeeaaallly, slow. It sucks. As she walks of course, she starts in, nagging about the coat again. It’s frustrating for me, even though I know it’s not her fault.

The slow walking allows plenty of time for Natalie to get distracted and gather up about 40 different toys that all have to go with us. Another fight. More tears. She can bring one. “Okay, two. Fine three. Just get in the effing car!!!”

I have to get out a bath side step with a tall handle so Grandma can get in the car. During this time, Natalie is collecting rocks that will be coming with us as well. I am on watch to make sure none of those rocks magically fly towards the car or Grandma. Grandma finally gets in the car. I buckle her in. Natalie throws the rocks (to the ground, thankfully) and cries because she wanted to do the buckle.

I unbuckle Grandma so Natalie can do it and I push the walker back up to the house. I open the house door without closing the garage door, because, adhd, and, again, the effing dog gets out.

As the dog is running full force towards an unsuspecting jogger Natalie yells, “Mom, I peed my pants!” And Grandma is yelling, “You left my purse in my walker!” The jogger is startled by the 110 pound friend she just made, but is thankfully not upset AND grabs her collar. That is a huge win for me!!

I thank and apologize to the jogger and drag the dog back in the house. Then I take Natalie in the house. Her pants are changed. We get back out to the car and I finally get her and buckled into her car seat.

I put the car in reverse and start driving when I see that the garage door is still open. I get out. Shut it. Get back in. Realize I am still wearing Nick’s flip flops. Get out. Go inside. Get my own shoes. Tell the dog I hate her. Go back out to the car. And we can finally go. When we get there we realize that I never got the purse out of Grandma’s walker.

It’s all worth it for moments like these, though:

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Cat Ladies

A few months ago this cat showed up at our door. For three days she just hung around the yard. We already owned one cat. I felt one cat is enough for a lifetime and we were a perfectly happy little family. I was a totally content, cold-hearted, cat hater.

On the fourth day the cat was still hanging out in our yard and it was really cold. Since I was under a vow to never own another cat I knew there would be no way her kitten eyes could get the best of me. So I placed a bowl of food and some clean water in the warm, safe, enclosed front porch.

By the time dinner was over that night Grandma had named the cat “Meisje” (pronounced My-Sha, dutch for girl) and decided it wouldn’t hurt to just let the cat in for one night. The cat immediately curled up on Grandma’s lap to sleep. A few days after that, Grandma, Natalie, and I were leaving the vet’s office with a newly vaccinated and flea treated pet.

Turns out, trips to the vet are a caretaker/toddler mom nightmare.

Since Meisje came in as a stray I had to take both her and my old cat Ryhkhey in together. There was no chance that Ryhkhey would share her carrier. But we had a ridiculous amount of empty diaper boxes. Perfect. Grandma suggested that we put Meijse in a diaper box and tie it closed with yarn.

Something you should know about Grandmas: what we do with duct tape, grandmas do with yarn.

So here we were, standing in the kitchen trying to shove this poor cat into a box, keep her there, and wrap it shut with yarn. The result was me being tied to the box and the cat escaping. Grandma finally agreed that we could try the tape.

Fast forward- cat back in the box, Grandma with her handy yarn, two year-old standing on the kitchen table, and me holding the box shut, trying to secure it with tape. I got about half-way when the tape ran out and the cat ran out too. Again.

Now we were about 15 minutes late for the appointment. That’s standard Melinda Time (I’m late for everything!) so we are still good, but it was definitely time to leave fast. The box was still not quite secure, and I was telling Natalie to get her shoes on as Grandma stood in the doorway with her coat and purse. Without a beat we were now at least 20 minutes late.

Getting grandma, two cats, and a child into the car is not a quick process so I skipped a few steps. Natalie’s shoes still fit in my pocket then (they grow so fast!!) so I scooped her up and threw her in the car seat, shoeless. Ryhkhey, who had been patiently waiting in her carrier this entire time fit perfectly in the back of the Jeep and I hastily folded up Grandma’s walker and tossed it in on top. Usually I empty the caddy in her walker but there was no time for that. I placed the diaper box of cat, half duct taped and tangled with yarn on Grandma’s lap in the front seat and we were off.

Of course, as we started driving the inevitable happened. Ryhkhey, who had been waiting so patiently, could wait no more, and did a job in the carrier. The smell made our nostrils burn and filled the jeep like the thick dense fog in cartoons.

We arrived to the office, almost 25 minutes late, but the amazing staff actually came out to the car to help unload, which was awesome. The vet tech waited as I opened up the back of the car to get Ryhkhey. At that perfect moment, the contents of Grandma’s walker caddy spilled out onto the street. Apparently it was laundry day, because inside the caddy were about 15 pair of underwear!

There I stood, almost a half hour late, with one poop covered long-haired cat, a shoe-less, toddler, a Grandma holding a box of cat (fastened with yarn and duct tape), and a giant pile of granny panties at my feet.

A day in the life.