Saturday, August 30, 2008

Whoa is Me!

If I weren't seriously allergic to horses, I would jump on one and gallop off to the four winds. Just sitting on a horse causes me to wheeze, sneeze, and weep, so scratch that idea.

I am weary of tangled, non-sequitur exchanges. Mom is fiercely protective of the laundry room, even though she has forgotten how to operate both the washer and dryer. She still wants to fold our laundry, which is fine with me, except that she can't manage kingsize sheets and bluejeans. She also seems to think I need her permission to use my own machine.

"What's in the machine? Why are you washing today?" she'll demand, with fire in her eye.

This week, I tossed a net bag full of her panty hose into a load of our wash. Draped them over her basket to dry. A little later, I found them arrayed across the stop of the recliner in our family room.

"These are your stockings," she announced. "I found them on my basket."

"They're not mine, Mom. They're yours. See, they're 'control top'. They're not mine."

"Well, they're certainly not mine, so they MUST be yours."

"Mom, I haven't worn pantyhose since Easter. They're yours."

She shook her head doubtfully and left them on the chair. The next day, she said, "I was awake half the night worrying about those stockings. Who could be coming in to use our machine?"

Yesterday I had all the carpets in the house steam-cleaned. Violet, our daughter's dog, who comes here week-days for Doggy Day Care, has a delicate stomach. Our livingroom carpet looked awful. It was all besplotched with a year's worth of spot-cleaned doggy vomit and worse. I finally decided that Violet probably can't tolerate the afternoon snack of sliced American cheese that Mom hands out. A couple of days ago, I asked Mom to stop giving the dogs cheese and bought her a bag of "Beggin' Strips" to give them instead.

Later, she summoned me.

"Why did you buy me two of these?" she asked, pointing to the bag of snacks.

"Two of what?"

She shook her head impatiently at my stupidity, opened her cupboard, and triumphantly produced an unopened jar of instant coffee, which she set down beside the snack bag.

"Mom, those are two different things. That's your Maxwell House."

"You mean Maxwell House is now making dog snacks?"

"No. I got you those snacks because I don't want you giving cheese to Violet anymore. It makes her vomit."

She had a new, irritating mannerism. After I "spout off" about something, she makes a silent "O" with her mouth and shakes her head "yes," as if humoring an ill-tempered grouch.

After the carpet cleaners left, the Tree Hugger, the Grandson, and I went to the Baltimore Aquarium for the afternoon. Back home, I found a huge puddle of watery vomit on the newly-cleaned carpet.

"Mom, did you give Violet a slice of cheese this afternoon?"

"Of course I did. You know how she loves cheese. I always give both dogs cheese in the afternoon."

"But that's why I got you the 'Beggin' Strips', Cheese makes Violet sick."

"You told me that Ramsey was the one who gets sick."

Later on, I found the "Beggin' Strips" on our kitchen counter. As with the pantyhose left on the chair, this means, "These are not mine, so they must be yours."

Just as I settled down with my book before bedtime, her door opened. "What's this?" she demanded.

"It's your Polident for Partials."

"Look what I found inside the box." She showed me the last two Polident tablets in the box, still in their foil wrappers.

"Well, those packets say 'Polident/partials'. What's wrong with them?"

"Well, they're not the same. Why can't they just leave things alone!"

I went to the closet where I keep her extras. Several months ago I ordered a half dozen boxes of Polident for Partials for her. She's gone through half of them. None of the remaining boxes says "New" or "Improved" or "Now with Green Tea Anti-Oxidants!"

I don't know. I don't know. I just don't know.


CJM-R said...

I don't know how you manage. What patience you have.

Do u have adult day care in your area? We do, but my dad will have nothing to do with it. And my best friend runs it!!

forsythia said...

I don't have patience at all. I'm afraid I take it out on the poor Tree Hugger. My mom would feel the same way as your dad about adult day care. She prides herself on being a loner.