While on the Island the following little things happened. Not every occurrence is worthy of its own post. Sometimes it’s not worth jotting down. In looking back it helps me to understand why I feel so anxious and agitated at the end of a spell of time with my mother.
Some of the little incidences:
On Friday, we went for a late lunch at the local coffee shop that mom and her friends like to meet. We ordered at the counter and then sat down. A rush of high school students were on our heels in search of the homemade ice cream the shop serves. Within 6 minutes, my mom went from (her) normal to high agitation mode complaining about how slow the service was. 90 seconds later she was in the kitchen complaining. Understand the shop was staffed with counter servers and cooks. The cooks didn’t drop our order to serve ice cream. She sat back down. I looked at my watch. 2 minutes later she looked at me and said: I can’t believe this!” I told her it’d been 2 minutes and that I didn’t think we’d been waiting an unreasonable amount of time. Within a minute, our meals were served. Then she complained her soup was cold. The owner came to apologize to mom and mom told her, “Really, it’s ok.” This is a classic example of why we try not to go out to meals with my mom. She can only complain.
Mom asked me twice if I wanted a local phone book. I’ve learned to say “Yes” to everything I possibly can.
The last time I was on the Island, I left my stainless steel commuter mug at mom’s. A day or so after returning home I let her know that I’d left it behind and where it was. She ascertained there was NO Such Thing in her home. Thursday upon arriving at mom’s, I walked into the kitchen, looked at the shelf above the toaster, grabbed my mug and put it in the car.
There were multiple instances of mom forgetting where we parked.
Before mom and I headed into town, she said, “I can’t remember where anything is.” It’s moments like this, when her guard is down, that I find so touching in that she’s being honest and non-defensive.
When I took a shower at her place Friday morning, I wondered how many times she’d walk into the bathroom (there’s only one bathroom at the Island house). 3 times. None of them seemingly necessary. I chalk this up to her being used to coming and going as my father showered. Now that I know to expect it, it’s more of an amusing bet with myself rather than an invasion of privacy.
It looks like mom hasn’t re-filled her Aricept since July. The bottle is big, indicating a 90 day supply, but it also looks pretty full. This is how stubborn my mother can be. She’s prescribed a medicine to help her memory but because she is so sure she doesn’t have any cognitive problems, she’s not taking the med, thereby losing out on its benefits.
When I arrived, the house looked better than usual. The paper load was about half of its usual volume. Mom had mentioned she’s bought an alpha file sorter and had been putting paper away. When the opportunity presented itself, I did a fast search through the house. Indeed, she’s using the alpha filer, But, there is still paper, albeit in smaller piles, all over the house. And it’s scatter shot. The same category (e.g. correspondence from the attorney re the driver’s license battle) of paper is in 7 different locations. At the moment, this isn’t my problem. It will be, come the end of the year when it’s time to gather it all up in order to do taxes.
There was what looked like a bicycle inner tube wrapped around the lower front grill of mom’s car. I didn’t examine it closely, but cannot imagine how a circular rubber thing-a-ma-bob could have gotten lodged there.