Saturday, December 20, 2008

"master of his domain"

I had the first argument I've ever had with my dad this week and it was a doozy. When I was a kid, he told me that if he ever got old and senile that I should tell him to take a hike (paraphrased). I told him this week, "You're there, Dad." It began with the fact that Mom snuck out of his sight while he was washing dishes this week and was up by the highway when it was 15 degrees outside. Also, she walked across the highway at another time. And that's just two of the times he told me about. No doubt there are others. I said, "The locks are going on the doors, right now." I've been hinting heavily for some time that the doors should have locks, but he was adamantly opposed saying, "I'll do better, it's too much trouble, I'll lock myself out, it's dangerous, it costs too much, I have too many keys already, we need to talk about this later, etc. etc." I said, "No, Dad, we're not waiting and we're not discussing. My handyman-guy is coming down ASAP." He was mad. I was mad, too. So, today the guy came down and put on the locks. They are like deadbolts, but they lock from the inside or outside with a key. One key works on both doors. We also got him big, bright keys---one has Sponge-Bob Squarepants on it, which he thought was funny. I even wrote arrows on the doors pointing the way to turn the key for "lock" and "unlock." I made him practice, practice, practice until he was comfortable. When he saw that he could do it and he wasn't going to lock himself out, he lit up like a Christmas tree and said, "I am master of my domain!" So, we waited to see what Mom would do. She tried the door, but when it wouldn't budge, she just walked away with a "whatever" look on her face. She did not stress, or act in any way frustrated. About every four minutes she'd try the door again and as before, gave it a 'whatever' look and moved on.

The rest of the night was completely at peace. Dad was relaxed and acting cussing in frustration and pulling Mom away from the door. The house stayed warm, too. He quickly called his neighbor to tell what wonderful locks he has on his doors!

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