“A teenager at rest will remain at rest until acted upon by an outside force.” – Unknown
That’s Lia most of the time, she likes to chill.
Lia is the type of person who happily allows her servants to do everything for her. For the first few shifts that I worked with her, I actually thought she was helpless. Ok, not completely helpless, but she acted as if she needed help with every ADL.
Mom happened to come in one day as I was helping Lia get dressed, “Are you dressing her?”
“Yes, we’re almost finished.”
“She knows how to do it herself.”
My jaw dropped as I turned to look at Lia. I had been conned.
Mom pointed to the pants I had laid out on the bed, “Put your pants on Lia.”
Lia gave Mom a reproving look to show that she didn’t appreciate being outed, and complied. Then she followed with her socks and hopped off the bed. My tongue was starting to dry out by then, so I closed my mouth.
I learned my lesson that day. Lia is capable of doing a lot more than she lets on. I guess I can’t really blame her for taking advantage of my willingness to serve her. I think we all enjoy letting others do things for us on occasion that we could easily do for ourselves.
Since that time, she has had to prove to me that she actually can’t do a task before I step in to assist her. Even then, she has to at least try. Instead of babying her, I try to challenge and encourage her. As a result, she is doing a lot more for herself than before, sometimes reluctantly, sometimes willingly. But I see that as progress, and I realize now, it’s what I should have been doing all along. That’s Nursing 101.
As an example, instead of sitting at the table demanding her food while I hustle to get everything ready, she helps me prepare for the meal by getting the things she needs from the kitchen to set up her place at the table. If she’s having something that isn’t easily spilled, she carries her food from the kitchen to the table (she’s a little wobbly when she walks).
For months we had an after-meal routine where I would ask, “Are you going to help me clean up?”
I would wash the dishes and wipe the counters, and then, offering her the sponge I would ask, “Can you clean the table for me?”
It never failed, until that one day when something changed. She got up from her seat, took the sponge from my hand, and started cleaning the table. I could almost swear I heard a chorus of angels in the background singing, ‘Hallelujah!” while I did a little happy dance behind her back.
When she finished I calmly accepted the return of the sponge. “Thank you so much Lia, you’re so helpful!” I may, or may not have gushed a bit, but she likes praise. “Now we can go play!” She had definitely earned her reward.
Today, my “Lazy Lia” still likes to take it easy, but, she seems to enjoy helping and doing – on her own terms of course, but I still see it as progress.