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  • Jane

A story about patience and time


It’s evening again. Mum took herself to bed wearing all her clothes. I wake her up a couple of hours later to go pish, wash herself and put cream on her happy rash .

She sits on the bed

I direct her: Take your pants off.


Yes take them off.


No, off. Take your pants off, I repeat

She looks at me with very confused eyes.

I realise that I can also sit down and write while I wait for her to complete each task. Otherwise I can lose it and feel pressured that time is ticking by. I think I'm time obsessed or rather, I’m time poor.

I give her a pad to put inside her nappy for double night protection, but she puts it on top of her nappy instead of inside it, and it drops off. She calls me pitifully, Jane ???

I walk back into her room. No! I exclaim ( I feel like a bitch). You have to place it inside your nappy not outside your nappy. Otherwise it falls off, I say in a less than kind tone.

She finds it hard to understand. I definitely am at my worst at night when I get mum ready for bed. I have little patience. I speak in a gruff tone. I'm not present. I disappear to a different room or write these notes on my phone. Poor mum.

I suddenly feel for her and how lost she must feel. I remind myself it’s not her fault, she’s not pretending to not know. She really is confused. She forgets how to carry out one step after another.

I try again, this time with smiles. It feels much better for me and for her. She smiles too.

So I finally get mum into bed and put in her ear drops (which she dislikes). I cuddle her in while she repeats Thank you for what you’re doing while I answer It’s my pleasure. It’s my honour. This ritual repeats itself every night while I tuck her in.

It's already 9pm and there's not much time left to do my chores and admin (let alone my artwork).

I've made a commitment to stop everything at 11pm and be in bed by 11.30pm, so off I rush to start my evening jobs.

It’s 11pm - stop everything!

Now the race to oversee that everything’s ready for the next day. The dishes are done and put away, benches are clean, porridge is soaked, clothes are set out for tomorrow, medicine is laid out, the card with the day of the week is in full sight for mum, my lunch is prepared. I floss and brush my teeth, heat the heat pack. It’s nearly 11.30pm. If I go to bed after 11.30pm, I have to give Yasha $7.80

I race to my room with a drink of hot water, the heat pack and my bag. I charge in and collide with mum.

Mum’s often in my room but never so late at night. I’m taken by surprise. It’s odd to see her in her nightie fussing with things on my bookshelf. She has found a plastic bag and has neatly folded it into a tiny package. She’s been sprung in my room, and seems to know she shouldn’t be there. She hands me the folded plastic bag.

Mum! I shout (but not angrily, because it is funny and absurd to see her pottering in my room at such a late hour).

Mum, it’s late - go to bed now!

Surprisingly I’m not annoyed even though it took ages putting her to bed a couple of hours earlier. I lead her to her room. She’s happy as Larry.

Into bed I order her. Luckily the whole process doesn’t take so long. I only allow her to kiss my hand and say Thank you once.

See you in the morning, I smile as I close her door.

I jump into my bed. Mmmmm... it’s nearly midnight. $7.80 to Yasha.

Late nights - debits go to Yasha


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