Monday 10 September 2007

My grandmother

Have a week off work as its Little Ladies first week of school. Her first day went great, she had an argument with a little boy over the play-dough and when we went to pick her up, Little Man managed to make one of the boys in her class cry (I have no clue what he did, I didn't see and LM would'nt say). She absolutely loved it though. Still looked a bit nervous this morning, but their new teacher is an angel; hugs and kisses and big smiles for her whole class.

So this morning I am being a house-wife (ha ha ha - is there still such a thing?) and putting my home in order. Dad-in-law coming over to stay from Pakistan on Thursday so have to get our junk out of his room. Mother-in-law and brother-in-law will follow later in Ramadan, so hopefully by Eid the house will be packed to bursting. (I wonder if I will be so chirpy about this in a couple of weeks - anyway nothing can get me down on Eid - oh except last year when I waited all day and realised I wasn't getting anything then burst into tears half way through the second day of Eid - I think hubby will know better this year).

Anyway may go visit gran today, she lives with my parents and expects to spend every day I have off work with her (didn't tell her had week off). She lived with me for about two years before my Dad got fed up of our crazy living arrangements and took her home with him (which happens to be about five minutes walk away) Looking after her was the one of the hardest and most rewarding things I have done. She has osteo-athritis so cant walk further than the bathroom, she is partially deaf and sees with a magnifying glass (Little lady broke the last one) and she is one of the sharpest people I know. She was amongst the earlier group of immigrants from Pakistan and followed my late grandfather here in the 1960's. At that time all of the (South) Asians in London mostly knew each other and my Grandparents were always very hospitable and social people. Because of them I grew up in a full and busy house and that is what I try to emulate in my own home. Even now that she is mostly confined to her room she still gets guests most days (much to my mums chagrin) and she sits and talks with them for hours. A lot of family friends who have known her since they were young and are now my parents age and have lost their own parents see her as a mother and come to talk to her when they are down.

I was her carer from the time I was expecting Little lady until after I had Little Man (about two and a half years). She was much more work than my children as anyone who has looked after an elderly person will testify. But she knew so much about looking after a baby (having seven children and dozens of grandchildren and now eight great-grandchildren) and gave me better advice than even the health visitor could. I would leave the baby with her whilst I was in the kitchen and she would recite Quran or tasbih whilst she watched the baby. Our house had guests most days(for Muslims guests bring blessings and honour into a home).

She is also a great story-teller, she has a mind which has oftened been likened to a super-computer by freinds and family and will recall details of a story like it happened yesterday (although she has a tendency to go off on a tangent half-way through and also tell you the names of the last twelve generations of the person she is talking about). For someone so old and pious she is also a great mimic and loves taking the mickey out of other old people (defo a role-model!!). If you annoy her and you are from one of the families she knows she will innocently recount a very embarrassing story about your granddad from back home or when he first came here.

I think she was happy in my home because there were so many young people (my parents are very nice and proper) and we used to pester her into going out places with us so she wasn't stuck at home all the time (My husband took her to the park one time and started chasing pigeons with her wheelchair - while she was still in it, she threatened to knock him out with her walking stick). I think the other reason was my little ones - those bundles of grubby noisy joy.

Some things I dont miss are washing her dentures for her (yuck, yuck, yuck) and washing her walking stick (thats my gran for you) but she gets my sisters who are still at home to do that for her (mainly long-suffering sister gets stuck with that job as she is the kindest and most helpful - the other two think work or chores of any kind are bad for their health).

I think I might go get Little Lady after school and go visit gran today (still not telling her I have the week off though)

1 comment:

  1. I laughed at this post for about 10minutes! chasing pigeons with a wheelchair!!