Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tick Tock

My mother has always been a slave to the clock.

Spontaneously, she announces the time. There is no reason. Suddenly she will say... it's 3:15. She does this several times throughout the day. I supposed I should be happy she can still tell time.

Despite all of her clock watching, when the doctor draws a blank clock and asks her to draw a certain time, she cannot. The effort is draining and depressing. Because she can still tell time, she can see that she's wrong, but she doesn't know what to do to fix it. Her embarrassment is apparent.

When I was a teenager, she was very specific about the time I had to be home. She would stay up and watch the minutes tick away. I knew I'd better be home on time or in a hospital. I chose punctuality over infirmary. It was easier.

She eats because it is noon, regardless of her state of hunger. She wants dinner somewhere between 5 and 6 pm. Anything else causes great stress. Dinner is a significant benchmark of every day. If I am home, she starts asking as early as 3:30 if I know what we are going to have for dinner. This is a strange question to me for two reasons. First, she eats just about the same thing every day and secondly, I am not a big dinner planner. Dinner is not the flagship of evening that it is to her.

When she eats, I make an effort to eat or at least sit with her. She doesn't like to eat alone. It also lets me encourage her to eat. With all of her stress about when dinner will be served and what will be served, she often eats very little. The post dinner ice cream is always the goal.

Now she is forgetting dinner. Tonight we ate together at around 6 and at 8 she said to me in a panic, "It's 8:00!! When are we going to eat dinner?!?!?"

Fortunately ice cream is the answer to that question. Thank goodness for ice cream.

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