My mom will be having surgery on Friday and I'm trying to figure out what I should and shouldn't say to Michael about it. She is having a hysterectomy, and the procedure will be done robotically so there will not be a big abdominal incision. I will be taking time off from work to care for her and to watch Michael since she is his daycare provider.
I haven't really given this much thought. If it was anyone else, I wouldn't bother to explain what is going on, however I realized that because she is his daycare provider, there are some things he will need to understand. The first thing he needs to understand is why my mom won't be watching him. When she went on vacation, he was fine with not seeing her for a week, but because I will be caring for both of them, he will be seeing her. I don't know if this will be an issue or not, but I want to be prepared to deal with anything that might come up.
I think the most difficult part of this for Michael will be the fact that he's used to rough housing with my mom, climbing on her, and just in general being crazy around her. Clearly, this will not be acceptable until she has recovered. How do I make him understand that he needs to be gentle with my mom? If she had a visible "boo boo" I think we could just show him, however that won't be the case. I want to make him understand, but I don't want to scare him. I have no idea how to do this.
I'm also concerned that my very technical way of handling things like this could also be upsetting to Michael. For example, the fact that I think it's a good idea to show a 3.5 year old an abdominal incision to demonstrate why he needs to be gentle may indicate that I don't have the best barometer for handling this without upsetting Michael.
So, any suggestions on things I can say to help Michael understand what's going on without freaking him out would be welcomed. I could probably also use some advice on things I shouldn't say or do as well. (I'm guessing that getting out the anatomy book and showing Michael pictures of what they are going to remove isn't a good idea either.) Hmm...this is one area that being a geek probably isn't helpful.
The good news is that the surgery is being done because her pelvic floor muscles are...um...nonexistent, not because there is any concern of the big C. (Do your Kegels ladies! Do your Kegels.)
Also, related good news, she got the results from her mole biopsies last night. Everything looks fine. Thank you to everyone who kept her in your thoughts and prayers.