Thursday, January 3, 2013

Speaking of feet.....

A number of days before Christmas, my mother broke her foot.

...She fell down some steps...seriously.... Although judging by my fathers reaction, you'd swear I pushed her!
On my own admission that I heard a noise and then her calling dad's name but no more until a few minutes later when she was already back in the house and he was there too, he immediately yelled,

>You heard your mother fall and yell for me and you left her there for 10 whole minutes until I came in and found her?? You did nothing to help her?? You left her for the wild dogs and rabid wolves to eat??!! (There were no wild dogs or wolves. I made that part up for dramatic effect. You get the idea though)

It took a solid 10 minutes to calm him down enough for me to explain that I hadn't heard 10 minutes worth of shouting and since I had heard no more, I had assumed that everything was ok. Apparently that wasn't a good excuse, and neither was my argument that my psychic radar which should have told me that my mother was injured and not just calling for him to help put up Christmas lights must have been off. But I digress...

As it turned out, my father, who also had not heard her calling for 10 minutes I might add..... couldn't bring her to the doctors to get her foot checked out, but luckily one of my elder sisters is driving now (more on that another time) and she, saint that she is, was able to take the patient to the doctors. From my sisters account it was a nerve-wracking drive.

Already driving slower than normal in order to protect the injured foot from bumps and the like on the bad country roads, she was subjected to complaints from a very agitated and nervous front seat passenger/ back-seat driver in the form of my mother who complained that she was going too fast, with her hand hovering constantly in the vicinity of the hand-brake. (In the early days of my sister's forays into driving, this hand often took swipes at the hand-brake at the first sign of a stop sign or a traffic light, inevitably causing tension and irritation for my long-suffering sibling). However, understanding that the mother was in some pain and no doubt on edge, the sister chose to ignore the hand of doom and focus on getting her there in one piece.

There was, of course, one more test to her patience. Half-way along the lane that passes as a main thoroughfare through one of the townlands, a car was spotted in the distance, just coming around a turn. With any number of gateways to pull into, and the warning of a number of hundred metres for both cars, my sister was not worried. However, the mother let out an ear-piercing scream, and shrieked,

>Stop! A car!!!!!!!!!

For the rest of the trip, the mother was on the edge of her seat, and keeping an uncomfortably friendly relationship with the handbrakes personal space. A very agitated sister later stated to me, 

>I swear to God, if she'd pulled that handbrake I would've got out of the car and sat on her foot!!!!! 
...I worry that this wasn't an idle threat... I've seen her angry. She scares me.

Never one for an easy solution to a problem, it was revealed that the mother had broken an exceedingly awkward bone in her foot and the question of surgery was brought up. In the end, (and I assume because it was so close to Christmas) a cast was put on her foot with the instructions to come back in a week for a check-up and they'd decide then.

I was concerned about who would cook Christmas dinner. And I worried I would have to have some part in it. I believe so did everyone else. As my boss said in work, 

>I've heard about the things you've put on the table! Sure you wouldn't know what you'd be eating!!!

Harsh.

I was assigned the much more appropriate task of setting the dinner tables, which my mother had instructed be placed together in a position which unfortunately resembled a penis. Everyone noticed except my parents and aunt.

There are many pros and cons about having a woman like my mother in a leg cast. However, to save you some tedium, I will be brief:

Pro: She can't get up the stairs to see the state my room has fallen into. I fear she would not be best pleased.

Con: We are now regarded as her personal slaves and she sends us on the most trivial errands around the house, waits til we have literally sat back down again, and then sends us on another. When questioned as to why she didn't just give us all of the jobs at the one time, she moaned,
>Well I didn't know what job I wanted you to do til you had the first one done.
..A likely story woman.

Pro: You can hear her approaching from a distance. The creak_creak_creak of those crutches gives us enough warning to appear busy, tidy small messes or generally disappear before she can arrive on scene to give out.

Con: In an unlikely turn of events.... Also 'You can hear her approaching from a distance'. When sitting in a room with only one entrance there is no escape, and the creak_creak_creak of those crutches is as ominous and bone-chilling as the footsteps of an approaching killer in the most eerie thriller movies. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. And the noise gets louder and louder and draws ever closer until......... You get the drift...

Pro: We are treated to the most hilarious comedy shows as she stubbornly insists on doing awkward jobs that take her twice as long as it would to ask one of us to do. For example, moving a chair from one room to another. Push, hop. Push, hop. Sit on a bench and push chair as far as possible, then use crutch to push it further again until she needs to stand and hop over and push again...And the mournful look in her eye as she does it, but then refuses your help when you offer with a hint of annoyance in her voice that you would even ask! Hours of entertainment. Or of course, the laptop case in the mouth like a dog, which is always a treat.

Con: One less taxi driver for the non-motorized members of the family.

Pro: The endless number of jokes about cripples, casts, breakages. It was her birthday today and my father wrote Hoppy Birthday in her card. And the messer of a neighbour in the church who whispered to my mother as he went by that there was an awful smell of feet that day.

Con: That foot. That bare foot. And no paint or anything on her toe-nails. The disgrace of it all. I hate feet.

And now we play the waiting game. Until she falls asleep in a position or place where we can assault her cast with pens and markers and the inevitable drawing of a willy.....