Saturday, January 24, 2009


When I got down to Mom and Dad's house today, Mom was already outside. She was wearing three coats with three shirts underneath that, so I'd say she was sufficiently bundled. As I got out of the car I said, "Hi, Mom. What are you doing?" She said without hesitation, "Getting ready to go to Competition." (where they lived when the boys were little.) I said, "Oh, yeah? Hang on a minute and I'll go with you." Why argue? She opted to come on into the house with me, instead. I said to Dad, "Mom says you're going to Competition." He said he'd like to, but would have to have someone go with him because he can't drive all that way by himself with Mom not talking to him. We'll have to plan a trip up when the weather is a bit warmer.

The afternoon was full of things that pointed to Mom's confusion, but I don't want this blog to be a list of "crazy stuff Mom does." I will say only that she has some brown jersey gloves she is now enjoying wearing. That's a good thing since she likes to be outside as much as the weather allows. She likes to wear them in the house, too, and to bed. We're glad she is at home with us so if she wants to wear jersey gloves to bed, that's her perogative. If it's a comfort to her, it's a comfort to us! Who really cares?

Dad's going to have to watch his mouth, though. We were sitting in the stove room swapping stories when he told me about how as a child he had once taken a candle and written with it on the stovepipe. He received quite the reprimand, I guess, because it caused a fair amount of smoke. Less than 30 seconds later, Mom was there with a birthday candle ready to try it out on the stove pipe herself! I said, "Dad, watch what you say and don't be giving her any more ideas!"

At one point in the evening, Mom got a jacket and put it on me. I remembered someone telling me that some Alzheimers patients feel a need to "nurture" and sometimes a doll will keep them happy and occupied. I decided to give it a shot with a doll I found in the attic. I gave it to her while she was sitting in the rocking chair. She looked at it with the same care and concern she would a grandchild and there was a glimmer of normalcy in the way she held that doll so carefully. She rocked it a while then put it on the dining room table. After a break to do something else that crossed her mind, she found the doll again and occupied herself with sitting it on her lap, tucking the "blanket" (tea towel) close around its neck and feet, and holding it vertically, then horizontally to watch its eyes open and shut. I hope we're on to something here and this will give her something to do besides try the doors. My goal is to enjoy having her here and to keep her happy and safe. So far, so good!


mollypollyvelela said...

where is the competition? I didnt know they lived some where else.

Laurel Stebbins said...

Competition is a little town by Lebanon. Before I was born and the boys were small, (Allen was under 7)they taught there in a country school. They also lived in Alexandria, Virginia where Dad read the ticker-tape at the Pentagon after he was drafted into military service. I think he was drafted when Mom was three months pregnant? That's why Allen was born in Philadephia---via the fire department, I believe.