Childhood habits full circle.

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I am sure every caretaker has experienced childhood like habits that their ward has developed over time. Siting at the breakfast table listening to Mother is a huge reminder. It is like listening to an opus. Crunching of the cereal, smacking of the lips, mouth wide open while chewing and watching food spill out, moans and groans while drawing breaths. Everything we were threatened not to do when we were kids by our parents growing up.
In the car, no matter where we are going, we hear familiar questions and new ones. "1. Are we there yet? 2. How much longer? 3. The sun's shinning in my eyes. 4. I have to go to the bathroom. 2 and 4 are often related. Then there is a new one started by one 89 yr old mother and picked up by the other 89 yr old mother. Leaning over toward the middle of the seat to check the speedometer to make sure we are not speeding. Constant traffic reports, back seat driving, "Look at the size of that truck!"
How about embarrassing moments at a restaurant and, loudly, commenting on other people. "Look at him/her, she/he sure are fat. Look are that black and white couple together, have they no pride to stay with their own kind?" One mother has a problem with keeping her hands to herself and thinks she is funny as she pats a man's beer belly and asks when it is due or pats a pregnant women and asks personal questions, smiling the entire time. We can apologize just so many times until we feel they are on their own, suffer the consequences of your own actions. No matter how many times we tell them not to and explain why, nothing changes.
Life is full of experiences, adventures, embarrassing moments. Caretakers shouldn't have to live them all in the same day, but we do. I have had one person tell me to hang in there they have to die eventually. Nice! Well, everyone hang in there, it may be all the above but seldom boring.

1 Comment

Well I can certainly relate to the mealtime issues. MIL doesn't always articulate very well so it can be difficult to understand her even under normal circumstances. She also has difficulty swallowing sometimes, yet she insists on talking with her mouth full of food. Every time I put a hand over hers and say "chew and swallow first...THEN talk" I can hear my own mother's voice sternly reminding me "Don't talk with your mouth full!" Glasses of milk or juice spilled all over the table. Tomato soup dribbled all down her shirt front. She also used to try to sneak tidbits of food under the table to her dog....JUST like a kid, I'd see her out of the corner of my eye (while pretending no to notice) - first she'd look around to see where the dog was, then look over at me to see if I was watching, then look to see where my husband was. As son as she deemed it safe I'd see the hand cup the piece of meat (or whatever) and slowly sliiiiide under the table. If she got caught and asked what she was doing, the answer would invariably be "nothing". :)
Then there's the whole fascination with her BM' long has it been since she had the last one? Should she try drinking some prune juice this morning? And when she does go she HAS to look in the commode bucket afterward to "see" how much she did. If it gets "stuck" she wants to get her hand back there and "pull it out" - a task I have actually had the misfortune of needing to perform for her more than once (EEEWWWWW!!!) I raised two kids and helped raise one grandson...never expected I'd be telling my MIL not to talk with her mouthful one day. Life is full of surprises.

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