There was this old commercial for an OTC headache reliever in which a woman of a certain age is trying to assist her teenaged or adult daughter. The younger woman snaps, "Mother, please, I'D RATHER DO IT MYSELF!" (Anyone actually remember the name of the product? I'm thinking Anacin, Bufferin or Excedrin, but I'm not sure.) Anyway, the daughter, after taking the headache remedy, is happy, smiling, working together with Mom. Now, what, pray tell, does any of this have to do with my lovely, sweet-tempered, cooperative daughter?
Well, I have become aware of the rhythm of the things that she can do herself - or thinks she can - and it is not always prudent to offer assistance at these times. She wants to pick out her clothes, and most of the time, she does, even if her mother would not have selected that particular pair of socks. The only time we try to change her mind is if the clothes might be too warm, or not warm enough - a difficult thing to gauge given that it's below 30 and above 80 in the past week and a half. She can carry things I didn't think she could, and successfully.
Yet, there are times, usually in the beginning of the day, when she's not quite awake, or the end of the day, when the eyelids are drooping, when she wants to be carried downstairs or upstairs, and I try, we try to be sensitive to those nuances.