Picking up where we left off with “Eat Your Vegetables”…
More than once across the decades, my Dad protested as a point of “manhood” that he didn’t do windows, cook or any other “womanly” duties. Can you imagine? You probably can, if you have such a father!
To distinguish a “Cope-able” from “Un-cope-able”, though, I can cite more than one male parent from my father’s generation who knows how to maintain order and cleanliness in the kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms and other fixtures. It’s not like every man born in the 1920’s and 1930’s is that helpless. Thank goodness!
If you’re wondering what makes even grocery-store visits such deeply-fatiguing and craze-inducing exercises, here are three reasons.
The Realities of Grocery Shopping
For those trapped in the Sandwich Generation, even “minor” grocery outings are a trial. If you’re like me, you DREAD those fuller visits where you need to combine not just ongoing dutiful accompaniment but also get food into your elders’ stomachs. Heaven help you if you forget something on The Invisible List. You’ll be made to pay for your “transgression” months afterwards through infinitely repeated reminders of the ONE time you overlooked ALL items.
What you’re not “Allowed” to do
Are you asking why not use a service that delivers food to the door? Are you kidding? If anyone arrives at the doorstep of an Un-cope-able Parent with already-purchased food, they’ll be questioned up one side and down the other. Did you order everything they need (even if you’ve been running your own household for decades)? They’ll scour grocery bags like a sleuthing Customs Official trying to prove you’re smuggling contraband merchandise.
What you’re “Allowed” to do
Thus, it’s far better just to bring along your neurotic folk so they can CONTROL every item that goes into the cart. They gain additional satisfaction from monitoring EACH ring-up by the cashier. EACH bag-load carried to the front stoop receives constant vigilance so no one steals a chicken leg or something! EACH item unpacked from kitchen counter to fridge shelf gets double-checked on the remote chance a purchase got lost somewhere along the way.
Just Cook the Eggs!
Knowing that even getting himself a bowl of ice cream was a stretch for my father, I decided to indulge his delight in seeing me hard-boil precisely 18 eggs every two weeks.
Even though it pained me as a Feminist daughter, I consciously performed the duties my father expected his one and only daughter-child to pick up right where my mother left off when she departed this Earth’s surface in April 2010.
I did this for very explicit reasons. To learn my underpinning strategy, stay tuned for my next posting. In the meantime, I hope you have downloaded your free Eldercare Rescue Guide at www.copingwithuncopeableparents.com.
As always, you can reach me at (905) 822-2503 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org