Square Peg ● Round Hole







As I was deep into my workout yesterday, my phone rings. Normally, I would ignore it but it was the service that we use that provides my mother’s caregivers. In my head, I am screaming, “Oh, hell no!” because I can already tell you that the reason for their call is to inform me that Crystal will not be making her shift. Sure enough, I was right and was informed that she broke her ankle. Ugh. They asked if I wanted someone else to be with my mother, and I declined because I really didn’t need her wrath on a seemingly delightful Monday. She despises new people in her home.

In my head, I have created all of these scenarios. Thinking that I will have to hunt for yet someone else to take Crystal’s spot while she recovers from the ankle injury. Thinking that my mother will lose her shit as another change is implemented in her life. Then I got a really good idea. I texted her caregiver directly because what I find most interesting is that information can be distorted. I don’t have all the details and most importantly, I don’t have them from the source.

Sure, enough, the information was incorrect. There was no fracture and she merely twisted it on Saturday. She assured me that returning to work today would not be an issue. I needed to be armed with answers before calling my mother. As I dialed the number, I was anxious. She detests any shift in her schedule. The idea that things might not go her way is crippling. But, all I have to remember was to present the facts and sprinkle it with empathy.

Amazingly enough, the conversation wasn’t too traumatic for either of us. She did indicate that the caregiver I had in place during the holidays while Crystal was on vacation, was horrid. But, she will share that story with me at a later time. I hope she doesn’t. Sometimes I say to her, “the complaint department is closed indefinitely”. Most of the time, my humor is lost on her or she simply doesn’t find me amusing.

Later on in the day, I called to let her know that Crystal will be back for her shift. While that resonated as good news, she opted to pretend that the complaint department was not closed and proceeded to voice her issues with “Alexa”.

“Alexa, won’t do what I tell her.”

“What are you asking her to do?”

“Tell me the time.” My mother’s eyesight has deteriorated to the point where she can’t read a clock. She has a talking watch but it is being fixed.

“Why don’t you ask while we are on the phone?” Sometimes her request are incredibly long-winded and I think Alexa basically ignores her.

She asks the questions, “Alexa, what time is it?”

“It is 3:42 pm.” I roll my eyes and giggle internally.

“Seems like Alexa is doing just fine.”

“She only does things correctly when I am on the phone with you.”

She was serious. She really believes that Alexa is on her good behavior because I happen to be listening. Maybe that is true. I think Alexa likes to yank my Mom’s chain.

Today is a new day. Hopefully, Alexa will be on her best behavior and my mother’s routine will give her comfort. What a difference a day makes.