To you I wish to give two things
To give you roots, to give you wings
~ Hanging on the wall between Brooke’s and Katie’s bedrooms
Activities of daily living (ADLs) is a term used in healthcare to refer to daily self-care activities within an individual’s place of residence, in outdoor environments, or both. Health professionals routinely refer to the ability or inability to perform ADLs as a measurement of the functional status of a person, particularly in regards to people with disabilities and the elderly.
Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) are not necessary for fundamental functioning, but they let an individual live independently in a community
- Taking medications as prescribed
- Managing money
- Shopping for groceries or clothing
- Use of telephone or other form of communication
- Using technology (as applicable)
- Transportation within the community
~ From Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), Wikipedia
She tears the birthday card free from its envelope. She smiles when she sees Dora’s smiling face on its cover. “Dora!” she says, hugging it to her chest, “I love her.”
She turns it over in her hands. The card’s lumps and bumps convince her that there is something further to be opened within the cover itself – a treasure to be found inside. She hands it to me to help solve the mystery. “You will open it,” she says.
Recognizing the mechanism, I hand it back to her. “Here, honey,” I say. “it plays a song. Press right here.”
She presses the button and Dora and the Fiesta Trio begin crooning Feliz Cumpleanos. She loves it.
I prompt her to open the card to read its message.
She doesn’t notice the bill that falls out as she opens it, so I pick it up off the floor and hand it to her. “Look, baby,” I say. “What’s this?”
“It’s a dollar,” she says, pushing the button to hear the song again.
I hold it up. “Are you sure it’s just a dollar?” I ask. “Let’s look at it together. What number do you see on it?”
She looks at it closely, but doesn’t say anything.
“Fifty,” she finally says. “It says fifty on it.”
“Yes it does,” I say. “So how many dollars is this worth?” I ask.
“Fifty,” she says.
We walk upstairs to her room to get ready for the day. “Hey, Brooke, why don’t we bring this with us when we go shopping later and if you find something that you really want, you can buy it with this and it can be a present from Papa and Grandma N?”
“Okay,” she says.
“Ooh,” I add, “and we can also bring the money that Aunt J and Uncle R sent for Christmas! Let’s bring that too.”
She agrees, and I grab the ten-dollar bill off of her dresser and hold them both out to her.
“So,” I say, “let’s figure out how much you have all together. We have this one which is ten dollars and this one which is fifty dollars. If we add those together, how much is it?”
She looks at the bills.The wheels turn. She’s not getting frustrated. She’s not balking. She’s still with me. I lean into banister and into the quiet of the moment. No pressure.
She takes her first stab. “It’s fifty!” she says.
“Well, yes,” I respond. “This one is fifty. And this one is ten. If we add fifty and ten together, we get … ”
I pick her up and spin her around. “Sixty, that’s right! You have SIXTY dollars! That’s a lot of money.”
She looks up at me beaming and asks for something that throws me. “Can you say, “you got it right so you get a token?”
I smile and try a different tack. “How about if I say, “you got it right so you get sixty dollars?”
She shrugs and says, “No, you will tell me that I can have a token,” then jumps onto my hip, koala style. We manage to walk down the stairs as one – tangled in a physically awkward but emotionally delicious hug.
She doesn’t look at the money again.
We are at the Paper Store. She’s honed in on a Dora Paint With Water book and a sleeve of butterfly stickers. I suggest that she use her gift money to buy them. She looks at me blankly. I’m not sure how else to say it.
I walk her up to the counter with her purchases. She puts them down and is gone like a bat out of hell before the cashier can say, “That will be $9.97, please.”
I smile at her. I look behind me. I’m grateful that there’s no line.
I call Brooke over and hand her the two bills. Before I can say a word, she’s grabbed them out of my hand and thrust them both onto the counter.
I collect them and crouch down to her. “Brooke, can you ask the lady to tell you how much it is? You weren’t here when she told us.”
“How much is it?” Brooke asks. I know it’s rote. I know I’m putting words in her mouth. I have no idea how else to do this.
The clerk smiles at her. “That will be $9.97 please.”
With a quick peek over my shoulder to confirm that there’s no one waiting, I hold out the bills. “OK, Brooke, it’s nine dollars and ninety-seven cents. Which of these can we use?”
“I DON”T KNOW!”
She doesn’t say it; she yells it. She doesn’t want to play this game. Neither do I, but we have to. Don’t we? This matters. Doesn’t it?
I don’t look at the clerk. I can’t imagine what she’s thinking of all of this. It’s not relevant right now. It can’t be. I carry on.
“It’s nine dollars and ninety-seven cents, honey. What’s that close to?”
“A HUNDRED!” she yells.
“Yes,” I say. “The ninety-seven cents is really close to a hundred. So that means we would round UP to the next dollar …”
“NINE!” she yells.
“Okay” I say, “starting at nine, if we round UP to the next dollar, what would that be?”
“A THOUSAND!” she yells.
“Slowly, baby,” I say. “No rush. Let’s figure it out. What’s one more than nine?”
“Ten,” she says.
“That’s right,” I say. “So let’s look at the two bills and see which one we should give to the lady.”
She grabs the ten and hands it to the clerk, who takes it and puts it into the register. Brooke is long gone by the time she tries to give her her change. I offer her a long-practiced smile, take the three pennies and thank her for her patience. “We’re working on it,” I say. I don’t have it in me to explain. I don’t really feel obliged to anyway.
It’s been a long day. Brooke is out of spoons, and, truthfully, so am I. It’s time to go home. So with that, we leave the store and walk hand in hand to the parking lot – her carrying her hard-won prizes, and me, awkwardly juggling my carrier bags, full as they are with unanswerable questions.