Friday, May 22, 2009

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

"No good deed goes unpunished." There's a lot of speculation about who said it first, but I suspect it was someone (probably female) who was dealing with a family and an elderly parent at the same time. I'm feeling a bit like the bug on the windshield today.

My mom is 82 and a baseball fanatic. Specifically, she is a Toronto Blue Jays fanatic. It's a good thing that Cito Gaston has been brought back, because I was becoming concerned about her blood pressure last year when the team was playing so abysmally. This year, there was a delay in the broadcast of the games, and mom was distraught. She couldn't watch "her boys" play.

My mom has basic, plug into the back of the television cable. Since analog will be going to way of the edsel in the not so distant future, I did some checking, and found out that she could subscribe to digital cable for a few dollars more than she was already paying, and have instant access to more channels, and more importantly, more baseball games.

She's been on digital cable since Tuesday. Problem was, she needed to learn a new remote for the system. To say my mom is techno-challenged is like saying that the Titanic had a small leak. Anything new that is technical sends her into a tailspin. I set the system up for her on Tuesday, and synchronized the cable remote with the television so that she would only have to deal with 1 remote. Or so I thought. I've walked her through it twice since Tuesday, and my husband has dropped in to fix it for her once, and will be going there again this afternoon after this morning's phone call.

Phone rings.

Mom: "I can't get the television on."

Lisa: (while smearing almond butter on a tortilla for child's breakfast) "Did you try turning it on and off again?"

Mom: "yes."

Lisa: "what's on the television screen?"

Mom: "02 and snow. I told you I couldn't cope with this and I don't know why you did this."

Lisa: (taking deep breath) "Okay, mom, you've got the television off channel 3. We need to put it back on channel 3. Get the little remote for the television and try putting it on channel 3."

Mom: (after pause) "I have sound now. But I don't have a picture. Why isn't it staying on the channel I left it on? It always used to. I'm too old to cope with this. I don't like it. We're taking it back."

Lisa: (another deep breath) "what does the screen say now?"

Mom: "Aux. 1"

Lisa: "Okay, I know what you did, but I can't see the remote to know how to fix it. Read the buttons on the little remote."

Mom: starts reading buttons.

Lisa: "Mom, I'll have to come over to fix it. I can't see the buttons."

Mom: "Better send Dave. You've done enough."

And so my husband has been dispatched to go solve the television crisis...again.

It's not the first time that something I tried to do to help my mom has come back to bite me in the butt. I'm a fixer by nature. My mom doesn't ask for help often, and doesn't LIKE having to ask for help. She therefore tends to accept it grudgingly. She broke her hip a few ago, and although she stayed in her apt, she needed help. I had just started a new job, and in fact, she broke her hip at my apt when she was over taking care of my cats while I was in Winnipeg on training. When I returned, I was going over every night to cook her dinner and do whatever needed to be done for her. Her best friend came up to stay, and I made a pot roast in the crock pot for our dinner at my apt. I went home, prepared to mix the flour and water for gravy and it exploded all over my kitchen and me. After cleaning up the mess, I finished making the gravy, sliced the roast, arranged the potatoes etc and transported it to mom's house. She had called in the interim because they were hungry and she was wondering where I was. I told her I was cleaning the mess..."I knew you should have cooked it here." was the response. Oh, and I didn't slice the meat nicely...

The digital cable is just another in a long line of things that I didn't do well enough. I suspect the digital cable will be returned this afternoon, and I hope my husband is up for the arguement with Rogers about the fee that may result. I'm staying out of this one. As my mother has said, "I've done enough."

So is it wrong that I try to fix things? Is it wrong that I try to make things better? Is it my expectations that are too high? I just don't know anymore. What I do know is that I'm stressed and upset and feeling discouraged and useless. Time for chocolate.

1 comment:

Janet Jarrell said...

I am actually quite impressed at the level of communication between you and your mother. This is how we learn to deal with conflict everywhere else. It looks pretty healthy to me.

You have a strong independent mother there. You come by it honestly.