My kids are now lying for me. When my mom calls, they answer the phone and tell her I'm otherwise disposed.
"She's in the shower..."
"She took Chloe for a walk..."
"I think she's in the bathroom..."
"I'm not sure where she went..."
It's been two days since I saw her, but we've chatted several times since Thursday. Today she said she missed me. And I could hear her pouting over the phone. She wants Greek yogurt and fresh spinach from Raley's. Maybe tomorrow I'll go get it. I wasn't planning to go anywhere today. I was planning to get all the laundry done, change the beds and get some work in for a couple clients. Stick to the plan!
Right now, I've got and archived episode of Blue Dog Jam playing quite loudly on my computer. Attempting to crowd out my mother's presence from my brain. I'm off to make waffles for my boys.
...Six hours later, Mom calls again.
"Are you waiting for the milk to sour?" (She's referring part of the yogurt-making process.)
"I'm sorry Mom, I couldn't get to the store today."
"Why not?" (Now we commence with the guilt-creating process.)
"I'm working and couldn't get away. What do you need the yogurt for? Are you making spanakopita?"
"No, I have itching. My feet are itching."
(Is she applying this topically?)
"Well, I can't make it till after Pilates tomorrow."
"If I'm still here...sorry to be a big bother..."
An isolated incident such as this would not even create a blip on my radar, but there's a lifetime of emotion that's dragged along with every encounter I have with my mother. I don't exactly know what to do with that. I'll have to stick to my guns...I'll only go over there twice a week, and only talk to her once a day. If I'm her only "friend", then hopefully she'll figure out that she needs to reconnect with old friends, rebuild some bridges and make some new acquaintances. And she'll have to figure this out on her own.
And I have to learn how to emotionally separate myself from her process, because even though I was "working" all day, I didn't get much done. My entire day was a struggle between trying to be creative and trying to stop being nagged by guilt. And guilt is a tremendous zapper of creativity!