Young Ben thinks Pearlie is perfectly charming and she thinks the same about him. I think my mother-in-law is a witch and not in a good way either.
One of my friends called this afternoon and she had her grandchild with her. I suggested she called in to see Pearlie not realising that Pearlie already had a caller. Hector is a local farmer (and rare visitor) who has known Bert's family for years. So first of all Pearlie pretends not to recognise my friend although she has known her for a very long time. OK – it has been over a year since she's been round but they moved house and life does get in the way. Then Pearlie announced to everyone that she was hungry and she had not been given anything to eat all day. This was not true and I told her so. I also told her that only an hour before I had risen from weeding vegetables and said to Bert I was going in to get Pearlie her afternoon meal. He told me he'd taken care of it, she'd said she wanted nothing but a cup of tea but he'd brought her a bowl of strawberries. Pearlie scoffed, “One strawberry! That's not very much!” So there were the visitors thinking that all Pearlie had been given to eat that day was one small strawberry. I checked this with Bert later. She had been offered a bowl of strawberries chopped into small pieces.
It's not the first time the mother-in-law has done this. It's a common occurrence when she has callers that she'll tell them we don't feed her. She told her social worker the other week that she'd had no breakfast and that the carer had given her stale bread for her lunch because that's probably all there was. That was the same day I informed the social worker it was time to draw a line under that part of Pearlie's care plan as that particular carer had served bread set aside for the chickens. That same blade couldn't carry a cup of tea from the scullery to Pearlie's room without spilling it everywhere. These women get paid more than waitresses and some of them cannot serve tea and bread and butter without fucking it up.
I had a word with Pearlie. Told her that I was not happy that she'd make these untrue announcements when people were in. She was unrepentant. I haven't seen her since. A night off seems like a good idea.
Bert said to her,
I hear Nelly told you she'll not be seeing you until tomorrow?
Apparently. Reach me my cardigan.
Ben and Bert sorted out her supper after I reminded them. Ben gave her a hug and said to Bert,
Hug your Mum.
Ben told me about this. And I was really happy she'd had cuddles from the two boys. Even though she is a witch.