Sunday, 9 December 2007


It's a cliché, I know, that the parent becomes the child.

I should have seen the last 9 months as my 'pregnancy', but I didn't. Perhaps there were classes I could have gone to, or maybe a Midwife should have been assigned to me.

I suddenly have a 79-year-old infant to look after: one who I can't leave alone, who constantly asks for attention, who cannot do anything without me standing over her and micro-managing every part of the task.

I tried to do some work this morning. Mum was coming up the stairs every 1 or 2 minutes, calling out to me about nonsense she creates in her head out of the scraps she can remember. I never got a chance to concentrate on more than a single sentence over the course of an hour. Eventually, I decided to set Mum a task to keep her occupied: to sort out her clothes and make a pile of the dirty ones. All the clothes Mum brought up with her are badly stained, and we've been out several times to buy fresh clothes (which are warmer and actually fit her). I told Mum that if she made a pile of her dirty clothes, I'd launder them for her.

This only made things worse for me. Mum wasn't up to the task. She kept coming back to me with all sorts of other things, and I'd remind her what she was supposed to be doing. I kept leaving my study to guide her back to her room and point to her suitcase and re-explain the task. A minute later she would be out once more. It's been 2 hours of this now, and I've given up responding.

And, of course, this has worked rather well. After not getting any response from me, Mum has settled down and is now relatively quiet. 

If only I could get her toilet-trained.

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