I have between 30 and 45 minutes to get dad ready in the morning.
It may sound like a lot but let me tell you that it is not.
Today was a day that proved to me that even an hour would not have been enough.
Let’s start at the very beginning as a song once said…..
08:40. I go in to be met with a waft of heat that could be mistaken for being in a desert. Dad is in bed and the flat in not too fragrant. I wack up the plug in and I wake him up. I make him a cup of tea today (as he asked for it) and leave him to rise.
08:46. He’s still in the bedroom sitting on the edge of the bed looking utterly confused.
08:50. I beg him to get in the shower and off he goes.
09:00. Breakfast is made and on the table. TV is on. Heating is turned down. Windows are opened and dad is still in the bathroom with no running water and swearing and coughing his head off. I stand by the door and ask does he need any help. ‘Don’t you dare come in’ he shouts. I ask why on earth not. He tells me that there is water everywhere…..you may want to sit down and get a drink for this part.
09:05. Out he eventually comes coughing all over me. He is back in the pyjamas and they are soaked. The bathroom looks like it has flooded. I get him out and then realise that he has not actually showered! I ask why and he tells me that he doesn’t need one. So I get him into his bedroom where only the pants are laid out on the bed. I go in to the bathroom to find that the shower head had been taken out of situ. It’s simply left hanging like a limp lettuce leaf in a room filled with steam and water. Dad is still supposedly getting dressed whilst I attempt to clear the bathroom. I switch on the shower so that the pump can be bought back to life whilst I, fully dressed for work, attempt to sweep water down the drain. I called out to dad and I am met with no reply but I had to clear the water in order for it to not reach the carpet in the hallway. I thought I could feel something on my head so I looked up. The entire ceiling, electrics and lights were dripping like stalactites onto me! Clearly he had switched the shower on and it had coiled about like a live snake whilst full of water.
09:12. Dad is still not dressed and wearing wet pyjamas! I tell him that we have 10 minutes to get out as I have to be at work. He is full of cold and all the time allowing his runny nose to drip onto the floor. Ordinarily I would say something but I don’t have the time or inclination today.
09:15. We finally get the wet clothes off and start getting dressed. It is not going well. Once we get to the shoe stage and he flicks snot in my direction and he informs me that he wants to be 6ft under. I told him to fuck off. I told him that he never ever tells anyone else this kind of crap and that I am doing my very best. I tell him that maybe he should think about the things he tells me because very soon people will think that I am the one going mad as he puts on such a wonderful shows for all those around him bar me!
09:20. I ask ‘Do you want to go to the day centre? You’re full of cold and frankly I think that you are better off indoors today (with the heating back at 21 and not 30!!)’. I am met with silence.
09:22. I am staying at home he tells me. I have had enough and I am not in the mood. I am ill. I tell him that he simply has a cold and that if he felt unwell yesterday he should not have gone off gallivanting with his lady friend around the shops! His response is that he bought nothing in Primark……..lucky us/poor economy!
09:24. I have to be at work at 09:30 and I don’t need any more points on my licence but time is tight! I call the day centre and cancel his attendance. This in turn means no lunch for him so I call the meals on wheels company just in time to order a lunch.
09:29. I make it to work with damp hair and wet shoes from the shower.
09:30. I assume dad is happy watching TV feeling sorry for himself.
Remember it’s only Monday!