Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Christmas Story Chez Watson

The in-laws came for Christmas and we had a nice time. Margaret's Alzheimer's is clicking along quite nicely and I wonder if she is taking her Aricept as she should be. Unless Peter is throwing it down her throat every day, the simple fact is that she won't take medicine. This concerns me. Martin, however, will be addressing that issue; I don't go into that sort of thing with Peter.

In the ten years that Martin and I have been shackled together, Peter has gone from a little irritable, but generally pleasant to a downright crabby old man who obsesses over the leaves on his lawn and any day now, will start running out, shaking his fist and shouting,"Slow the hell down you bloody cunt!" at people who drive over 35 mph in his neighborhood.

I still love the old fart though.

One of Margaret's most prominent symptoms with the Alzheimer's is that she repeats herself continiously. I am very patient with her about this; it's not like she's doing it because she thinks you are ignoring her, she just doesn't remember she's already told you 18 times. Margaret and I had the following conversation at least six times in my kitchen:

M: When I asked Mia what she wanted for Christmas, she told me she wanted Dexter.
L: She misses him a lot and I tried to explain that he needed to be with his Michigan family this year for Christmas. (Dex has an uncle who isn't doing well physically).
M: I just didn't know what to say to her, poor little thing.
L: I know, it's difficult on all of us.

Finally, Martin realized that I was starting to get upset and got his mom onto other things. I wasn't upset at Margaret, it was just an upsetting subject and I thought I had a handle on my emotions for Christmas. The worst episode I'd had this year was telling Martin, "You know, I really miss my parents, even after this long." But after hearing what Mia said about Dexter that many times, it was starting to drive a stake through my heart and I really didn't want to go hide in the bathroom and cry for half an hour while I was trying to cook Christmas dinner.

The original plan was that Margaret and Peter were coming down Christmas Eve, we would have our big dinner then and they would return Christmas morning to see Mia open gifts, have lunch, then hit the road. Instead, they decided to stay until Saturday, which was wonderful except for the fact that I had not made plans for another meal and as a result, we had some leftovers, but not much else. We had even run out of bread. We decided to go out to eat Christmas evening; surely something would be open, one of the many chains. After driving all over the greater Indianapolis area, and no one else going for my idea of getting the Speedway two hot dogs and fountian drink for $2.99, we finally stumbled across Tomo. It was a great find. The food was wonderful, the restaurant is very stylish inside and Mia was instantly smitten with our chef. Unlike the movie A Christmas Story, thankfully, the waitstaff did not sing.

I did a completely unscientific poll on Facebook regarding the revolutionary new Snuggie, the blanket with arms! The verdict is that you either love 'em, or you hate 'em. Mia got a pink one, along with slipper socks, and she loves hers. I tried it and thought it most resembled a fleece hospital gown with a collar. Neither practical nor comfortable.

At this very moment, in fact, Mia is lying on our bed, wrapped in her hot pink Snuggie, with her slipper socks on, watching Clean House. I've raised a 76 year old shut-in. All she needs now is a Clapper.

Did you look at that ad? I really want to see someone doing a pub crawl in a Snuggie, or wearing one at work. Especially in the office; people do crazy shit in bars all the time. Can you just imagine the water cooler conversation? "Dude, did you see, Bertha is wearing a Snuggie at the reception desk. I'm coming to work tomorrow in my sleeping pants that say Home Of The Whopper."


Miss Darr said...

I am SO getting Mia a Clapper for her birthday! That was hilarious!

I'm sorry to hear things are going so poorly with Margaret, it has to be tough to deal with and to watch.

One Christmas Opal kept asking when the gravy would be done. A couple of dozen times at least in the space of a few hours. Almost everyone else in the house was getting so pissed off at her (she didn't have Alzheimers - just old age, I think she was about 95 at the time) and I kept thinking just like you said, she just doesn't remember, she's not doing it to be annoying.

But the Dex conversation over and over again would indeed be heartbreaking. Next year let's all have a much better, more joyous Christmas!

Lisa said...

From your lips to the Fates' ears, Darr!

If you get Mia a Clapper, which I'm sure she will use to summon me as if I am her servant, I'm sending Sebastian home with a drum kit. With an amp.

judemiller1 said...

Do you not know that us old people have looked forward to finally being the age where we can yell at people and get away with it? You just wait until it is your turn--it is sooo liberating!

Ronni said...

I have conversations like that with Mrs Thing.

Snuggies are evil. Is that come-to-Jesus pumping of the hands in the air obligatory?

I must admit that Mia looks lovely in hers, though...just proof that you could dress that child in a vacuum cleaner bag, ans she would look fabulous.

Lisa said...

You know, Jude, I have so many of those thoughts in my head now, I am going to be one scary lady later when I start voicing them.

It's going to be salty, as well, because I am a very creative cusser.