My goal of finishing one patchwork lap robe went by the wayside this week, but I decided it would be a good project for Mom and I to tackle together. After traveling for two hours yesterday I arrived at Mom's house and carried in the fabric I'd bought for her. She seemed stunned I'd brought much flannel. Hadn't she been complaining endlessly about not having enough? I stocked up on her favorite colors when flannel was on sale a few weeks ago.
True to form, Mom asked why I'd brought all of that fabric to her. I reminded her of our past conversations in which she'd bemoaned the fact she hadn't been able to finish some of the lap robes for lack of fabric. She replied, "I thought I was done making lap robes". What a time to let me know about that. Mom went on and on about how much fabric there was on her kitchen table and kept asking what she was supposed to do with all of it. I volunteered to cut squares for her so they'd be ready when she felt up to sewing. She said aches and pains prevented her from working on lap robes sometimes and she was tired a lot. I didn't keep track of all the reasons she didn't want to sew anymore. Numerous times yesterday she told me she didn't need more flannel. Well, ok then. Why had she complained so much about not having enough? At one point she said she was not going to make lap robes any more because she thought I'd told her no one at the nursing homes wanted them. I never said anything like that, but I tried to overlook her confusion and convince her lap robes were needed and very much appreciated.
Though I was a bit exasperated, I assured Mom she didn't have to continue making lap robes if she didn't want to. Through the years she's made hundreds of them and I can understand if she's growing tired of sewing. I told her I would gladly take the fabric back home and share it with a friend who would like to help her homebound mother make some lap robes for nursing homes. At the thought of losing all that flannel, Mom perked up and exclaimed, "I didn't say I WOULDN'T use it!". She's a doodle.
Although I match the fabrics for her, there's never any guarantee she'll adhere to a color scheme. She enjoys adding her own "creative" touches to the lap robes, In the end, all that really matters is that she's pleased with them and the nursing home recipients enjoy using them. I showed Mom the larger template I thought would make her sewing a bit quicker and easier, but I should have guessed what was coming. She scoffed at the idea of trying something new and told me I'd burst her bubble by wanting her to cut larger squares. I told her I would cut enough larger squares for one lap robe and sew them together, then she could decide whether she wanted to try the new approach or not. I could see from her expression that was not going to fly, and it didn't. She'd already decided.
We managed to finish one lap robe and it truly was quicker to sew together, but Mom said, "If it's all the same to you, I'll just make my blankies the way I'm used to making them", and of course, I told her that was just fine. Before we'd even begun I'd known there was a good chance she'd not want to try something new, and I'd been reasonably sure she would be confused by any deviation from her routine. Mom is not the most positive person, yet I still try to please her and encourage her to try things that might make her life easier. When am I going to accept the fact Mom likes things just as they are?