The day begins with me going downstairs to get Bear out of bed and out for a walk. If Bear did not signal in the middle of the night, then this is my first trip down. If he signaled at some point in the middle of the night, then it could be up to my sixth trip down: one to go down and realize the kit is upstairs, two to bring the kit down and realize there are no strips in the kit, three to bring the strips down and test, fourth to bring down a juice box for Maggie or Dec, fifth to bring down a scrap of hot dog for Bear, and the sixth to come down to take Bear for a walk.
On school mornings Bear is still in bed snoring away. The only change for a weekend is that I am snoring upstairs, and Bear is barking downstairs. Up and out of bed, stretch and scratch, and we are on our way to the park to throw the ball. Along the way there will be anywhere from one to four poops, depending on how much bread was left in the bag that Bear ate yesterday.
Back at home Bear gets fed and finds a cozy spot on the couch to wait for Declan to wake up. The couch spot is abandoned briefly after Heather and I are done getting ready, before the kids are up, to check to see if there is any cat-food left out. Then back to the couch. The kids saunter upstairs and each has to be greeted. And Bear may signal solely on the presence of the kit coming out to check blood sugar. The success rate on these signals, as you can imagine, is quite low. But there are times when Bear signals and either Maggie or Declan are still downstairs and they are low.
Heather leaves. I leave. And then the kids walk around the house and make sure there are no less than 15 lights turned on. Maggie and Fiona leave either together or separate. And then it is just Declan and Bear for a solid hour. I cannot confirm this, but from the pattern established this week, I believe Declan leaves the ice cream out on the counter after eating a few bites and then makes sure there is a loaf of bread in the pantry within chomping reach of Bear’s snout.
After Declan leaves then it is serious couch time. But first Bear must tour the house for any treasures within reach. This is when he finds the carton of half eaten and half melted ice cream, and the half to three-quarters of a loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread. Not sure if he takes them one at a time, but the treats are consumed int he TV room, where I find a ripped apart ice-cream carton, and torn plastic bag that used to hold the bread.
And then it is off to the couch to help digest. We have had friends say they come by the house to drop something off, or see if anyone is home, and Bear is splayed out on the couch. They knock on the door and Bear doesn’t move. They knock again, checking to see if he is still alive. Bear slowly turns to see who is at the door before turning back to his nap. And after the ice cream and bread any of us could use a solid four hour nap.
A couple of days a week the nap is interrupted by Grandma Estelle coming over to take Bear for a walk. I believe this is the best part of the day second only to Declan coming home. After the walk Grandma makes some coffee and maybe makes a sandwich. She reinforces some good habits for Bear, tossing extra meat or cheese his way and Mimi’s way while she makes her meal.
Back home and back to the couch to wait for Fiona to come home and turn on a few more lights. Eventually everyone gets back home. When I get home I do a quick tour of the house to not only take inventory of what Bear ate from the kitchen, but also to turn off all the lights. I grew up during the energy crisis in the 70s and am conditioned to turn things off if they are not being used.
As each person comes home Bear finds a sock, or a shoe, or a towel, or anything from the floor to carry over to the person and greet them. There might be an occasional low-blood sugar to signal for, but Bear must always first greet the new people with something in his mouth.