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Granny MarnieDear Diary,

I believe in the importance of allowing my Granny Marnie (electric scooter girl) to do as MUCH as possible by herself..without doing something dumb, which could ultimately put her in harms way and force me to scream, “WHAT are YOU thinking in that HEAD of yours MARNIE?” To which she will respond, “I’m sorry honey..I wasn’t thinking. How was I supposed to know that I COULDN’T push the couch back where it was originally.. by ramming it with my scooter. Repeatedly. Until I knocked the lamp over—almost causing the bulb to shatter in a million pieces potentially causing disfigurement or blindness or both??”

Maybe I cook a meal or two (it’s easier for me to deal with a kitchen fire that I start) and drive her around when she’ll let me (still fighting for her re-instatement of driving privileges) but in the bigger picture Marnie wants to “do it herself” and I have no other choice but to honor that..pretty much. What I have never really participated any aspect of her personal grooming. Ummmm. The exception being..the artful sketching of two symmetrical, perfectly arched brows when the times warrant and the brushing and proper placement of her cherished “Susie”.. her hairpiece of five years. Still.. there are some activities that are really just NOT going to happen because of her ever so slight disadvantage of being electric scooter bound and …95 years of age. The. Shower.

In the past..whenever I suspected deception in the hygiene department..I very delicately went sniffing for answers to my nagging question about the HOWS and WHENS of said shower habits.

ME (scootching up real close to Marnie): I love you Marnie.

MARNIE: I love you dear. Have you had lunch?

ME: I’m good. I had a big lunch (mixed nuts from Trader Joe’s) earlier. (sniffing) You smell goooooood..what kind of SOAP do you use THESE days?

MARNIE (thinking deeply with eyebrows still in “smile” mode): Well..I’m not sure what kind it is? I’ll tell you what..When I think of the name— I’ll buy you a bar for a special gift.

Using my extraordinary super sleuthing techniques..I can get Marnie to show me.. not only the soap (inspecting for any signs of use) but also the chance to asses moisture in the shower area. When I see NO hint that the shower has been used (Irish Spring STILL in original wrapper) I start poking around a bit more.. to get to the bottom of things—so to speak.

ME: Marnie. When was the last time you got in the shower?

MARNIE: Oh I DO.. once in awhile dear. I just do sponge baths, which are almost the same thing.

Which brings me to my very FIRST time getting my Granny Marnie from her electric scooter into the S-H-O-W-E-R and back out again..ALIVE.

It’s not that I haven’t been pushing Marnie since she moved into KillJoy Senior Living: if it’s not already done—we’ll do it to you.. to GET help in the shower department from the day she moved in. I started casually.. with my various techniques of persuasion ranging from:

1. BLUNT: If you one will want to play Bridge with you.

2. GUILT: I bought YOU all those EXPENSIVE soaps from Crabtree & Evelyn..when I could have spent the money on your poor..UNDERPRIVILAGED great grand children..who have NEVER even been to Maui and have worn the same NIKE’s for months.

3. BRIBERY: If you get some shower help..I MAY overlook the fact that you have
5 dozen shortbread cookies and a dozen bananas shoved in your this very moment.. taken from the “free cookies and tea” room.

MARNIE: They WANT you to take the cookies. That’s what they’re there for.

“ know as well as I—that KillJoy doesn’t even consider the possibility that someone would go in with a suitcase and dump platters of refreshments into it. Since you won’t cooperate and hire someone to shower I will do you myself.”

I think I have never seen Marnie throw off her clothing SO fast..all the while whoopin’ and hollerin’ from the bathroom, “You know you don’t have to do this dear. It’s not too late to change your mind..O.K. Ta Da.. I’m ready.”

Uhhhhhhh. Think Adrienne. T-h-i-n-k. Best way to maneuver Granny out of her scooter..with her two legs whose only function these days are to sit there and look pretty..Here’s what I’m going to do. I’ll move the scooter to the very edge of the shower and the shower chair to the inside edge to meet it and LIIIIIIIIIIIFT. One more time. LIIIIIIIFFFFTTTTTT. Ughhhhhhhhh.

Cripes all mighty.

One more try Marnie. On the count of three..One..Two..Three.. UPPPPPPPPP.

Wow. Your boobs are a lot bigger then I remember them. Have they always been that big?

DOWN. Phewwwww.

“How ya doin’ Marnie?” I ask, as I wipe the sweat from my forehead. Drat. I need to work out my core. Poor core stability leads to all kinds of evils..some of which are letting themselves be known as Marnie  suds’ away happily. My back hurts and my abs spasm. Shame on me for not doing dead lifts and crunches with any sort of regularity over at Club Pretensia. Yeah. But if Papa G has been doing THIS all these years as Marnie claims and he’s 96..I see no reason WHY I should be suffer..

“Time to get me out dear. Put the towel on my scooter and then I’ll sit on it to dry off.”

“OUT? Already? But just got in..(checking watch) thirty minutes ago.”


“Marnie. I’m going to wash your hair. (Grabbing shower nozzle) Just sit back and relax you’re in for a real treat..



Marnie got it.. right in the face. That dang devil hose had a mind of it’s own..water blasting up Marnies nostrils, through the shower curtain and all over the bathroom floor. Thankfully Susie the hairpiece was spared.. the scooter and yours truly? Not so much. I just carried on with the scalp massage.. as if this was all a part of the plan. Water up the nose in some countries can be extremely therapeutic..clears up all kinds of sinus issues.

Grabbing on to a slippery, wet naked Marnie is a job for a skilled “shower helper” and not some kind of shower girl “wanna be”. I am overly confident to a fault and saw no reason why I couldn’t treat this situation as I do a game of “Capture the Watermelon” in the swimming pool. Are you familiar with that game? You slather Crisco all over a humongous melon and then try to capture it and bring it over to the side of the pool for safety. So NOT like that game. Marnie has gained a few pounds from all those free cookies.. I can tell you RIGHT now. I grabbed her around the waist..pulling her tight in for control and held on for dear life. Then I flung her into her scooter.

“How’s THAT. Was it a good shower Marnie?”

Marnie was grinning so widely you would have thought she hadn’t seen a shower in..

OMG. It had been TWO weeks. Papa G hadn’t been well ( wasn’t his BACK) and had been spending time in the hospital. Marnie being one who does everything herself just let a few MINOR things go. Not anymore.

Marnie has shower help now. She tells me she doesn’t like the staff to do TOO much. The nice girl can come and get Granny in the shower and help her get out. But then..I come to find out..Marnie tells her to leave. Why? “Because I can dry myself off and get the myself..when I’m wet.” I know JUST what to do when Marnie does this.

ME: Marnie. Did you know you’re paying the girl to help you dry off and get dressed? Don’t you want to get your MONEY’S Worth? Think of all of that MONEY you’re wasting if you don’t let the girl do what you’re PAYING her to do.


See how I did that?

I don’t care what your SENIORS tell you My Sandwich Generation members..always be persistent in confirming their answers with documented FACTS. If you are in the position of advocate..some skill will be necessary in allowing parents to arrive at the decision themselves..that SKILLED help or any help is necessary in risky situations. Or..if they could always threaten do it.. YOURSELF.



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Posted in Uncategorized 12 years, 6 months ago at 10:06 pm.

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