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If You Hear I Got Arrested for Stalking Martha Stewart, You’ll Know Why

We made the difficult decision this week to move my mother-in-law into a Memory Care unit.  None of us are happy about it.  But when someone insists on going to bed in a room that isn’t hers and starts storing her socks in the freezer, it’s pretty clear that independent living no longer suits her.

At least it’s clear to the supposed “experts.”  I’m not so sure.

The thing is, my mother-in-law discovered, several years ago, a curling iron that I had put in the freezer.  So, I feel like I’m one bed hop away from my own memory care incarceration and I certainly don’t have room to judge.  However, the place where she is living administered a quiz to my mother-in-law that apparently assesses one’s need for more assistance and it, surprisingly, did not include any questions about the proper place to store your socks or your hair appliances.

“What did they ask her?” I asked my husband.

“The date.  She didn’t know.”

Oh geez.  Half the time I don’t know the date either.  I have to ask my students or the lady at the dry cleaners when I’m writing a check at 4:00 in the afternoon.

“What city she lives in.  She knew the state, but not the city.”

Well, I do know that.  But I’ve lived here for 25 years (she’s only been here 2 years).  And if you ask my Kindergartners what city they live in, they will tell you anything from Canada to Paris.  I don’t see any of them getting stuck in a memory care unit.

“They asked her to fold a piece of paper a certain way and she did that perfectly.”

Oh. My. God.  I’ve watched videos on how to fold a fitted bed sheet 10000 times and I still can’t do it right.  And now they want me to do origami?

That’s 2 out of 3 questions I would have bombed.  So, basically, I would have scored the same on the quiz as my mother-in-law.

Please don’t tell these people I lost my wedding rings last week, then found them on the floor by my feet,  or that I punched the play button on our home answering machine this afternoon and did not recognize my own voice leaving  a message that I thought I was leaving on my husband’s cell phone voice mail until I replayed the stupid thing twice.

As long as I refuse to answer any questions and stay out of the freezer, I think I’m good for another couple of years.

But I’m going to learn how to fold a fitted bed sheet if it’s the last thing I do before my dementia diagnosis.  And I know exactly the person who can teach me…

fittedsheet

It’s Official – I’m Not Martha Stewart

Yesterday was our annual Cookie-Baking Extravaganza with Grandma.  Per tradition, the three of us (Grandma, nine-year old Dimples, and me) donned our Cookie-Baking Extravaganza aprons.  Dimples insisted on wearing the one I personalized for her when she was five.  It’s far too short, so I tried to hand her a slightly larger one, labeled “Little Helper.”  But Wonderbutt had a different idea.  He grabbed the apron himself.

Since Wonderbutt seemed so insistent on involving himself in the process, I decided to outfit him with the apron that Dimples refused to wear.  Apparently, tearing around the house with it in his mouth was much more appealing to Wonderbutt than actually wearing it.  Thus, my dreams were dashed of my handsome dog ever becoming a canine clothing model.

Our "Little Helper"

Or not.

Once Wonderbutt clarified what he intended to be his role in this whole event, we set to baking, and he set to sticking right by me in case I dropped anything.  It did not matter to him in the least that he was completely in the way.  This was his best chance to get something yummy, and he was not going to leave the scene for a moment.  Even though we were completely using up his prime napping time, he steadfastly remained, his eyelids growing heavier and heavier and his face looking more and more dejected.

Meanwhile, I could not spare much time to feel sorry for Wonderbutt, as we were trying out some new cookie recipes, and I needed to concentrate every working neuron on trying to overcome my measuring disability.  In addition, Dimples had chosen a recipe to make cookies shaped like pretzels – completely oblivious to the fact that all three of us have a spatial disability, and cannot, apparently, make pretzel shapes.  I like how the recipe, by Martha Stewart, simply stated, “Shape like a pretzel.”  Cap’n Firepants pointed out that there was a picture of a finished pretzel shape to help me, to which I shot back that it was clearly no help at all to someone who can’t find out where she is in the middle of a mall even when she is looking straight at a directory that says, “You are here.” Things got tense in the kitchen until I finally said, “Who says pretzels have to be a specific shape?  There’s stick pretzels, too.”

This is the closest I got to making a pretzel shape.

I swear Wonderbutt did not make this one himself in the back yard.

Besides, no one is coming to our house for Christmas, anyway.

The evening was topped by me walking into the living room where Wonderbutt was seated in the armchair, and Grandma was standing in front of the television watching The Sound of Music.  Grandma had been sitting on that chair when I left the room fifteen minutes earlier.  Apparently, Wonderbutt first tried to solicit an invitation onto the chair by sitting at Grandma’s feet and looking up at her determinedly with his sad eyes, but she did not understand his intention.  So, he went across the room, and took a running leap onto her lap.  At which point she decided to surrender the chair to him.  Her comment?

“I guess dogs like him do things like that.”

And that pretty much sums up Wonderbutt.

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