T minus six days

Related Posts with ThumbnailsMegan and Bubby are coming to visit on Sunday -- for five full days! Which means it's time to babyproof the place.

It's not like Bubby's never been here before, but each time he's visited Grandma's, he's been relatively immobile. Now he gets around ... a lot. And my house has stairs ... a lot.

The other day on the phone, Megan gingerly brought up the topic of our zillions of stairs.

Megan: "Ummm, have you thought about your stairs, Mom?"

Me: "Yes, Megan, I've thought about the stairs." (How could I not? There's at least one step into and out of every room in our house, plus massive staircases from one level to the next.)

Megan: "Well, Bubby climbs stairs now."

Me: "I know. I remember you telling me that. But we have baby gates. Lots and lots of baby gates."

Megan: "No. That's why I'm saying this, Mom. Bubby doesn't need baby gates. He does stairs now."

Me: "Uh, I don't think so, Megan. Not our stairs."

Megan: "He does fine, Mom. Really. He's a big boy. He's allowed to go up and down stairs."

Me: "I'm not comfortable with that. Nope, not comfortable with that."

Megan: "I kinda figured as much, which is why I'm mentioning it now, Mom. Just think about it."

Is this a crazy conversation or what? I thought new mothers were supposed to be hyper vigilant, chastising Grandma again and again about all the dangers lurking in her home and how to babyproof those dangers away.

But here's my daughter telling me I don't need baby gates in my house of 10,000 stairs? With a 21-month-old toddler on his way? For five days? And with me so proud of myself that I have SIX baby gates in my possession for ensuring his safety during his visit?

Apparently that's six too many.

At least Megan knows me well enough to not spring such things on me at the last moment. She knows I need time to deliberate, time to think things through.

So I've thought this through. And -- call me crazy -- but we will be using baby gates while Bubby's here.

At least five two of the six I have on hand.

Now, is there anything else I need to be sure to not babyproof before Bubby gets here? Any suggestions would be appreciated, as I've clearly not yet figured out this whole grandma thing.

Today's question:

What's the worst accident that's befallen you or another in your own home?

My answer: I fell off the top of a ladder while Jim and I were remodeling our previous house and was quite bruised and battered by the fall and subsequent entanglement with the ladder that fell with me.

Schedules, stairs and sacrifice

I'm a very schedule-oriented person. I do certain things at certain times, and I like to stay on track with those certain things at certain times.

One example of my anal, control-issues-on-parade behavior is that I write my daily post at the same time each morning. I allot myself one hour, from 7:30 to 8:30, to get it done, then use the few spare minutes left to read a post or two from other bloggers before moving on to my next scheduled item for the day (walking the dog).

I like to stay on track because as a basically unemployed person, if I don't create my own schedule, I fritter away the day and accomplish nothing. I like to accomplish things. Plus, I know there are a few readers of my blog who anxiously await my post each day and know when I post, and I don't want to disappoint them or throw off their schedules. (Hi, Mom!)

Well, my schedule is now out the window, thanks to a leg in a cast. Not my leg -- Jim's.

(First let me point out that this is not a bitch-session about Jim or his foot/leg/cast/situation. He feels sufficiently guilty about screwing up my schedule, and I'm honestly not writing this to make him feel worse. I just need to explain my schedule snafu -- in the true sense of what that word's an acronym for! -- for my sake, if no one else's. Kay, Jim? I love you, honey-bunny, sugar-snookums!)

So last Thursday, Jim had what we thought would be a minor procedure done on his foot. The out-patient surgery had been scheduled for quite some time. He had several visits with the doctor leading up to the procedure. He received reams of information. My primary part in the plan was that I'd accompany Jim for the procedure since he'd be, 1) on drugs after the surgery, and 2) unable to drive right afterwards since his right foot was the subject.

As we waited for his drugs to kick in, the nurse mentioned something about him being in a cast afterwards (which we knew) and on crutches (which we knew) for six weeks (which we didn't know!). Six weeks! Six weeks? Six weeks of me having to drive Jim to and from his new job? Somehow that little tidbit of information was lost on the way to preparing for this procedure.

(Note to wives/girlfriends/significant others: It's a good idea to attend doctor appointments with your partner if there's any chance his medical condition will have even the slightest impact on your life.)

Okay ... so six weeks of playing chauffeur and altering my blog-posting times (it'll be around 9:30, Mom, by the time you see my posts). I can handle that. I'll complain a little because my schedule will be disrupted, but I can handle that.

But there's so much more to the schedule disruption than just driving Jim here and there.

First of all, Jim has to keep his foot elevated for 10 days. Which means he pretty much does nothing but sit with his foot propped up. That's fine. I understand. I'll alter my schedule and do his chores -- vacuuming, dinner dishes, making the bed, scooping the dog poop -- in addition to mine. I'll bring him his laptop, his water, his cellphone, his snacks, his anything and everything he needs. Not that big of a deal. (Not yet, I should say. We're only on day four.)

The bigger deal is that, as you may recall from this post, that we have lots of stairs in our house. Lots and lots and lots of stairs. Jim is unable to maneuver the majority of those stairs.

He can manage the stairs down to the family room. But he can't manage these stairs:

These are the stairs up to our bedroom. And to the bathroom Jim uses to take a shower. And to his office. And he won't be going up them for probably six weeks -- or at least a pretty good chunk of that. Which is fine with me, at this point, because I have an overwhelming phobia of my loved ones falling down stairs, and imagining Jim trying to conquer these stairs on crutches -- or even sans crutches -- zaps my brain a bit.

So we've set up his main command central in the family room, and he showers in the main floor bath. I pick out his clothes each day and bring them down the stairs for him. And I make a bed on the family room floor for him each night, so he can sleep with his foot propped up on the ottoman.

And I go upstairs to bed -- by myself -- each and every night. And that, people, is one of the weirder aspects of this in-sickness-and-in-health venture we're on.

I'm truly not one of those women who can't sleep without my husband in the bed. In fact, I sleep better when he's not there. Which happens quite often, actually, because Jim suffers crazy insomnia and typically roams the house for much of the night anyway.

But just knowing for a fact that Jim will not be coming to bed, that I'm the one shutting off all the lights and locking all the doors and hitting the sack in a dark and quiet house is weird. And uncomfortable. And unsettling.

And I have to do it for six weeks.

But I suppose I really do have the better end of the deal. How weird it must be for Jim to know he can't see his bedroom, his bathroom, his office -- all up those stairs -- for six weeks.

It's those stairs, in particular, that have us both hoping Jim's foot heals quickly and he's put into a "boot" sooner than expected. Well, the stairs and my screwed-up schedule.

Stairs, stairs and more stairs

This week marks two years since Jim and I bought the house we plan to grow old in. We love, love, love the place -- and did so from the very first moment we walked through the doors.

But when deciding to live here the rest of our days, we didn't consider how the many stairs throughout the house would affect those days. We didn't take fully into account how old age and our alphabet soup of health issues (MS for me, PN for Jim) may come into play when climbing the stairs.

And there are lots of stairs!

Stairs up to the bedrooms ...

Stairs from the family room to the kitchen ...

Stairs from the patio to the deck ...

Stairs from the backyard to the side yard ...

Stairs, stairs and more stairs! And that doesn't even include the two stairs here and the one stair there, throughout the whole darn house. There's nowhere you can go without having to climb a stair ... or two ... or ten.

BUT ... I've come up with a solution to make the stairs a little less challenging and a lot more fun. I'm going to do just what these guys have done! Take a look:


Can you just imagine the fun Bubby -- and Jim and I! -- will have bumping down all our keyboard-covered stairs on our butts!