Thursday, January 17, 2013

Penalty Box

I feel bad. I shouldn't have chuckled. I know when Dad reads this, he'll probably give me that "eat shit and die" look when he gets home from work. But it cracked me up. I'm sorry… it just did.

Today was a good day for mom. She listened to her audio book and watched "Numbers" and "The Bells of St. Mary's". I even got her to watch a few episodes of "Clean House" with me. (I love that show!) We also took Dad to lunch today. I had errands to run and it was such a beautiful day it was a great way to get all of us (the dog too) out of the house for a few hours.

We got home from running my three errands and mom said she just wanted to "stare at the TV and not have to think too much." I could tell she was tired but she will never admit it. It can be extremely annoying to see her be so tired and refuse to take a nap. I digress. I turned on an episode of "Numbers" and she looked at me and said "I miss my husband." I believe she does during the day. Some days more than others. But today when she said it, it had an under tone to it. One I hadn't heard in awhile. 

I went to lay down for 45 minutes due to a stupid headache. As I lay there I could hear her talking to herself. She thinks I am not listening or that I am ignoring her. "I hate being left alone. Why do they leave me alone? They always tell me No and leave me alone." I didn't get up to comfort her. I have heard these ramblings before and have learnt that there are days I can not make her feel better. Today was one of those. I knew by her tone she had gone in to her snarky, tired, neglected mood. I wasn't going to be able to make it right. I do not feel bad that I took a nap.

When I woke up, the TV was silent and she was wandering the kitchen. I asked if she'd like to watch her movie or something else. The movie won, which meant I had roughly two hours to myself. I made the bed, I played on the computer and I thought. There was something about the way she had said she was missing my dad that was nagging at my mind. As I played "Words with Friends" it hit me. There was a bit of jealousy and a bit of something more. Not anger, but something. I can't tell you with a word what it is. It's something my mom has always been good at. It's the tone she uses, the attitude behind the words that will make you stop and wonder. I keep wanting to call it revenge but that word implies a wrong was done.

You see Dad told us at lunch he'd be home late. No big deal, at least not to me. If he needs to go to a work thing, so be it. I've been in corporate America and understand that even if you don't want to go, you go. You have to do those things to show you're a team player and that the company matters. You go. I get it. But mom, she's never gotten that. When it was just her and Dad, he wouldn't stay too long. He'd go, but not for long. Now that I'm here, he can go as long as he likes. He doesn't drink so I don't worry about him driving. I think it's good for him to go out and do these type of things. But not mom. She gets jealous that she's not with him. I used to think she was just nosy  As I grew up I saw she was much more insecure than I thought. In my opinion she doesn't think he should do anything without her but go to work. She and I used to argue about me having a girl's night out when I was married. She said there is nothing good to come of it. I never understood why it wasn't okay. I still disagree with her. I'm all for a GNO for the sake of keeping one's own sanity.

Dad got home at 7:15. Mom was glad to have him home. At 7:50 she went to bed. She was tired, it was all over her face and she kept nodding off. At 8:30 Dad went to bed. And not 5 minutes later I heard her voice from their bedroom down the hall. I laughed. I knew it was going to happen. It's her way of showing she's mad I guess. She starts a conversation the minute your head hits the pillow. No matter how exhausted you are, she wants to talk and if you ignore her she just talks louder. She pinched me to keep me awake the one time I tried to ignore her. (She was staying with me in WI while I dealt with my depression and I had worked two hours later than expected.) When she feels you've given her enough attention, she'll stop. But don't try to stop her before she's ready, that only leads to more talking or even to an argument that can last for hours. It's her version of the penalty box.

I hope Dad wasn't as tired as I think he was. She talked, loudly, for at least 20 minutes to him about the woman who died that she knew. I feel for him. But I laughed. I'm still chuckling. Dementia is changing my mom. Just not all of her yet….


  1. I finally got to read an entire page. Have you tried the Coconut Oil yet. It seems to have helped my mom. It's not making her better, but she seems to be able to have a normal conversation. Kind of know what's going on.

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