Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The chain gang....

There may come a time in your life when you suddenly realize that you are mothering or fathering your parent.

Role-reversal they call it.

If you're anything like me you'll tiptoe around and try to be respectful and cautious as you try to wrestle control over the situation gently take the reigns.

You may even say things like "Dad, would you please consider using that cane thingy so that you don't fall over.."?

When what you really want to say is "will you pleeeee-ase take this muthereffin cane before you bust up your hard azz head, and look here mister don't you dare make that face at me and try to swipe it out of my hand...if you keep this shit up I may have no other option than to crack you over the noggin with it.."

Keeping in mind that phrase you've been waiting years to use...

"you wanna cry??? I'll give ya sumpthin to cry about"...

Your Dad, if anything like mine, would surely respond "I'm not a damn invalid".

And you, if you're anything like me, will take a respectful step back.

For a minute anyway.

When he still refuses, I'm all but forced to take a different route...

"When you trip and fall on Sweetie (his very petite best girl) you will kill her, just sayin...

"They'd call it a murder- suicide" he responds.

When he is finally, thankfully, hospitalized my mothering reaches magnitude proportions.

Did you eat? Are you in pain? Did the doctor come in..?"

"No" he shakes his head "I haven't seen the doctor".

"He hasn't been in?" I ask.

"Yes, he's been here" a voice from around the curtain contradicts.

"No-ooooooooh, he hasn't" replies my father-aged son.

"Yep, he was here, sure was" the voice countered.

I peek around the curtain to see a balding man with an ear to ear grin.

A man sized baby, sitting behind his dinner tray like its a high chair.

The movie One flew over the cuckoo's nest instantly crosses my mind.

Okay, so one of them is nuts... and it isn't my dad..

or is it?

Every day when I come to visit I bring in sweets and more sweets and he doesn't eat most of them.

 "How many more cookies can I eat or do I need?" he pleads when I come in carrying yet another small bag.

"They aren't cookies, they're donuts" I say.

The man around the curtain laughs.

His other daughter brings flowers and newspapers and entertaining conversation.

He tells me that one of the nurses asked about the flowers and then commented on how "well" his daughters must have been raised.

He talks about the lucky hand, daughter-wise, he's been dealt.

"Uh, huh" says his nosy neighbor.

When the surgeon resident comes in to take a look see at my darling favorite senior citizen he offers her a "twenty" if she'll let him go home.

"You don't look very comfortable" she says pointing at the feet-leg combo that is out from under the covers and hanging two-feet off the foot of the bed.

"I'm doing this so when I shift positions I feel really good" he chides "that's all I got".

She (and the man behind the curtain) laughs.

"I'm nothing but a convict" he says when she leaves the room "just doin my time till the warden releases me"

There is a belly laugh from the other side of the curtain.

When I talk to my dad's doctor later, I tell him that I'm concerned that my dad didn't remember his visit.

"He was getting his pic line in, he had the covers over his head, so technically, I was there, but he didn't see me."

I'm happy to know that my dad hasn't lost his mind and it's probably a good thing that he's feeling well enough to entertain the people around him...

A good attitude usually bodes well with the parole board.

Happy Tuesday...make it a damn good one!


  1. I so totally understand this! Except it's my mother. Dad is learning to cook for her and is hurt because she prefers McDonalds. She's mad because he waited 54 years to cook.

  2. Oh I so didn't want to laugh at your Dad's humor here because I can feel your frustration flowing through your words...but what a crack up :) I hope he really is doing well and that the "warden" does let him out with good behavior! (too funny about the roomate too!)

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  4. Its a hard road when your parents get old and sick. You find out real quick that they don't think you know any more now than you did as a teen and to be honest in their eyes you don't. But you'll keep doing because you love him. And because you and your sister are 'good girls.'
    Hugs, needless2say


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