It has been months since Carrie has spent the night with me. Thursday night we decided it was time to incorporate her back into the routine. She phoned me around 1800 hrs to "come fetch me". I had to tell her that she wouldn't have much awake time. Her bedtime would be upon us quickly and she was okay with that.
I cruised past her house and collected her and her belongings. She hoisted a huge beach bag type thing into the car. It was mint green, and white striped with pockets on the outside. Huge. She said it was her new school bag. Carrying this around by the straps was going to be a chore for her but we will let her discover this after a day of packing it around.
She hung out on the patio with her Poppy, some crayons and paper. She is creating masterpieces which she brings to me for inspection.
Bedtime arrives and without a complaint we change our clothes and climb into bed.
"Did you brush your teeth?" I asked.
Back out of bed and to the bathroom she went with me calling instructions to "get those back teeth, don't forget to brush behind those teeth and on and on.
Back to bed and we snuggle beneath the covers. We have to play the word game. She selects a word and whatever the first letter in that word is, echoed in a prefix word. She picked "Carrie". I said
Careful Carrie, she said Colorful Carrie and on and on until one of us couldn't come up with a word which determines the winner. I am surprised at Carrie's vocabulary while playing this game. She is in the accelerated readers program at school and is one of the top two in her class in reading abilities. I started her early here at the house in our pretend school classes. She was trained to raise her hand before talking and to not chatter in our pretend classes. She gets outstanding marks on behavior in her class and we are so proud of this little girl.
"I hate the alarm clock. Momma sets her phone alarm and I don't like it."
Ah,, the cry of mass employed. I too hate an alarm clock and never use one. She won't have to hear it in the morning.
After a few more word games, it was time to go to sleep. The lights our out and she rolls to her side to face me. She whispers "Nana, I haven't been here for a long time. I love you. You know that?"
"I know that." I said and soon her slow breathing tells me she is asleep.
0500 and I wake automatically. I slipped out of bed and made my way to the kitchen. I packed her lunch and started on her breakfast. The bacon was fried the way Carrie likes it and the batter was mixed for her pancakes.
I stopped with the breakfast prep and headed for the bedroom to wake her. No alarms. I stroked her back and arms and whispered to her. She began to stir and I continued my soft tone and rubbing her back. Slowly she came awake, her arms and legs rigid in a big stretch. A minute more and I helped her sit up and move to the edge of the bed. No rushing. We had plenty of time.
Carrie hates sleeping in clothes so I slipped her bathrobe around her to wear until she was awake enough to get dressed. She made her bathroom stop and by the time she arrived in the kitchen, her chocolate milk was mixed and her pancakes were waiting for butter and syrup.
It is very quiet as we go through our morning routine. I need quiet time when I wake and Carrie is the same. We don't speak much at first. She sips her milk and nibbles on her pancakes. Carrie is not a big breakfast type person unless it's served at 1000hrs. I only offer her food. I don't demand that she eat it and the portions are small.
It's time to get dressed. Today she gets to wear pajama pants with a school uniform shirt. The pajama pants are a reward given to the children for "best behavior". Later that day, I went to her school to pick her up. A special treat for her is to be a car rider. I had to smile at all the little ones waiting in line in their pajama pants. They get "jean" day for some reward too and they love these special days.
Her clothes are on the coffee table along with her shoes, her book bag by the door. These are established routines at my house. Everything is checked the night before to make sure we have everything. I am uber prepared. I hate stressing out to get out the door. We prepare.
As she dressed, she said "Nana, you know I love you and Poppy don't you?" I assured her that I knew and that we loved her just as much. She is a soft hearted sweet child. I only hope life doesn't kick her around and change this.
She was off to another day of school and since she didn't get a bath last night, she said she would get in the tub to relax when she got 'home'.
We did that and then dressed and was off to pick up her mother for the ride to Lydia (small town) to deliver her to her Dad for the weekend. Before I drove away, I reminded her that I was just a phone call away should she nned anything or want to come home. Lydia is only 20 minutes away but when she is gone it seems so much farther
I'm having a lazy Saturday now. I've stripped the sheets off my bed and remade it. I had to take a break or two before I completed the job. I blame it on the medicines. I get it done but it takes twice as long. I don't want to change the protocol I'm on as I'm not sick and vomiting, my hair is intact and my fingernails are still in place. Though I'm queasy at times, I've been able to keep what I consume. Being able to do my chemo at home with the pills is a huge plus. Hopefully this works all the way to the end of treatment. Feeling tired is the worst part of this so far. I rest and I sleep. I work on returning to some of my normal activities especially where Carrie is concerned. Visting her for school lunch and sitting with her at the bus stop is a good start.
.................and that's my story for my memory blog.