Blogs About Mom

Morning Coffee and Dementia

steve jesson francey jesson kay jesson the jesson press

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I’ve said before that Mom doesn’t sundown. Being the contrary little enigma that she is, she’s more challenging in the morning. Six days out of a normal week, it doesn’t really matter how long she lingers over her tea, how many pages of coloring she finishes, how many crossword puzzles she does, or how long she let’s the bathroom heat up until it’s a Turkish bath. Most days, though, I try to get her rolling, to keep her on some sort of schedule, even if we don’t have anywhere to be. But some days there’s just no amount of coffee or sleep, and I haven’t the gumption. Tuesdays though, she has a standing Mahjong game at 1 PM—getting her out of the house by 12:40 takes some considerable effort.

It’s not that she doesn’t want to go to her game. She looks forward to it. It’s that she has zero concept of time. In her world, she has all the time in the world. Time doesn’t move for her. And, she can easily just forget it’s Tuesday. But, paradoxically, although she has no recollection of how time works, or what day it is, she can always remember nagging. This illustrates a normal morning/Tuesday:

“Mom, have you taken your pills yet?”

“I will! Jeesh just give me a minute!”

“Mom, take your pills and drink your juice.”

“All right! Gosh! Does everything have to happen right now?”

“Mom, you have Mahjong today. You need to get moving.”

“I will! Can I finish my tea? It doesn’t take me that long to get ready. You act like it takes me forever!!” (Trust me, it does.)

“Mom, you need to get moving so you can have something to eat before you go to Mahjong or you’ll be starved.”

So, this morning my brother is in town. We have plans to go over to my niece’s so he can see her new baby. My hope was to get her going so we’d get there before noon. I started the process at 8:30. I got her into the bathroom by 10:15, but only because I invoked my brother’s name at least a dozen times.

I pissed her off royally when she turned the heater on in the bathroom, and headed for the couch.

“Ma, we don’t have time to let it heat up for a while. We’re meeting Steve.”

Huff. “Just one minute!”

“No, if you go sit down, twenty minutes later you still won’t be in the shower. Steve is expecting us.”

That’s when she got really pissed. But she turned around and was in the bathroom immediately, by 10:15. As I write this, at 10:42, I just heard her shuffle out of the bathroom. Shower complete, now just make-up and dressing. She’s making nearly record time! And all it took was snowplowing her along, some strategic and unapologetic name dropping, and letting her get pissed at me. And me having this blog as an outlet.

My calculations have us at my niece’s house around 11:30. Not a bad bit of goal reaching.

Is it exhausting? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes.

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