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Saturday, August 25, 2012


I hope it is alright to find some slight humor in the Dadisms I get day-to-day.  I don't mean great laughs; sometimes humor is the better alternative to crying. 

1.  Dad has been seeing the progress of Tropical Storm (possibly to be Hurricane) Isaac down around Cuba via the TV reports.  WHILE I was trying to finish cooking dinner (of course, his timing is always wretched), he suddenly had urgent concerns that we should prepare for power outages.

Dad:  We need to get ready for power outages.

Mark:  Why?

Dad:  The Hurricane...

Mark:  We are not threatened by a hurricane.

Dad:  No, it will be here tonight, we have to get ready.

[Ok, now I could have gone 2 ways here, and I actually did think about it.  I could have said, "yes, I will get the candles out and and fill clean bottles with fresh water".  But I'm obsessed with reality.  So it progressed like this]...

Mark:  Dad, the hurricane isn't a hurricane yet, it is about a week away from us if it even comes NEAR us, we won't lose power, and if we DO, the food is good for a day in the freezer, and I will cook the fresh meat on the grill to save it.

Dad:  You're not listening to me, the hurricane is coming tonight and the power will be out for days.

Mark:  I'm listening to you but you're wrong.  1.  The power doesn't go out here because the cables are underground.  2.  I've lived here for 26 years and the power has never gone off for more than 2 hours, a one-off equipment failure in non-storm times.  3.  The storm is 1500 miles away, 5 days, and IF it comes through here it will only be a day of steady drizzle, which I would VERY much like.  4.  If the absolutely bizarre worst happened, I would simply put you in the front seat of the car and the cats (in PTUs) in the car and we would stay a few days out of state on our credit cards...

Dad:  But...

Mark:  Get out of the kitchen and let me finish cooking dinner!  I will deal with the Hurricane problem RIGHT after dinner!!!

Dad is getting more uncertain about where he is living.  I suppose he thinks he was in Florida for some of the discussion (but he knows Maryland for other parts).  It seems the concept of geographical distance is becoming harder for him to recall.  He really thinks the Tropical Storm Isaac is very close to us (in Maryland).  

I don't want to ignore his concerns, but when they are non-sensical and I'm trying to get all the parts of dinner cooked at the same time, I just don't HAVE time for his confusions.

2.  The groundhog sightings...  I caged a groundhog on July 17th and relocated it.  Since that time, Dad has claimed to see a groundhog in the back yard every single day.  It is always a pile of dead leaves or a dark spot on the shed foundation.  Every day, I have to walk outside and point to the spot he is convinced there is a groundhog and show him that there isn't one. 

Repeated errors in seeing groundhogs every day doesn't bother him a bit.  So when he stated AGAIN that there was a groundhog out back, I hesitated to even look.  But he said there was one running around, no doubt this time, I looked.  Yes there was. 

I set up the live cage, trapped it in an hour and relocated it later.

But here's the thing.  He said it was weird to get one just 2  days after the last one.  Um, it was 4 weeks ago.  Dad insisted it was only 2 days.  I showed him the picture from the last time (July 17/18).  He said that was the first one this year.  Dad wasn't even HERE then. 

His time-memory of current events is completely shot.  He can't remember simple things one day to the next.  I have a really hard time dealing with this.  I have a better-than-average memory for events than most people.  I have a worse-than-average about "people-things", so I'm not claiming anything special.  Meaning, I can remember buying things better than I can who I was talking to when I bought the item.  Many people have the opposite memory, and I envy them in that quite often. 

But Dad insisted I relocated a groundhog only 2 days before the last one, and it was 4 weeks...

3.  Dad gives me instructions befitting a child more and more often these last couple of weeks.  I'm not sure how to say he is "reverting to adulthood".  Parenthood of a child, I guess...  I announced the other night that I was going to bed early because I had stayed up late the night before.  He told me to make sure I "used the facilities" before I went to bed.  You tell a 5 year old that. 

When I make a meal, he sometimes asks "do you have enough for yourself"?  Well, considering the fact that I make dinners and divide them with what my grandmother used to call "the miking eye" (meaning micrometer precision) IN HIS PRESENCE, that is always a bit disturbing.

Every single night, we eat dinner and he eats at the table (because it doesn't wobble when he cuts his meat ineptly) and I eat on a TV tray so I can (briefly) watch a science DVD in peace and no "they can't know THAT" comments from Dad.  Every meal, toward the END of the meal, he always asks "Do you want more salt or more butter"?  Next week, he may be asking me if I need help cutting up my food. 

He clearly thinks of me as a child needing help.  I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't for the fact that he has always treated me that way, and I've always been the independent one of the kids...  I DO NOT understand this particular oddity on Dad's part.



The Cat From Hell said...

You are doing a great job and arguing with your Dad is a good way to keep his faculties a little longer.
Nellie's Mom

Katnip Lounge said...

Hang in there. As long as your Dad is happy and not too agitated, that's what is important right now. Don't worry about placating him (or not), he won't remember it. Peace.

Katie Isabella said...

Mark, .you are doing such a loving thing and I can imagine that it's hard, very hard and difficult to have to comstantly repeat and endure his lapses. Later on down the line you may see the humor in some of these remarks he makes. :-) Right now, humor is likely hard to come by due to the immersion into another sort of life style for now.


Derby, Ducky said...

{{HUGS}}, keep your head and you will get through this. Lots of patience required.