Sunday, July 30, 2006

87 inside an AD head

I try to imagine what's going on in my dad's mind. From the bits of words and phrases, I try to reconstruct what I THINK he means, or what I THINK he's thinking. But it occurs to me that my thoughts about his thoughts might not be any more accurate then when I think I know what my cats or lories are thinking. It's all just projection right, and I can no more know what's in the pea-sized brain of my beloved Lancebird than I can guess what's in the ever-shrinking brain of my dad.
Friday night I was leaving my parents house and he followed me out to the car. I can't remember exactly what he said, but I understood him to mean that he wanted to walk me out to my car so nothing bad happened to me. In my delusions of thinking I know what my dad thinks, I imagined that even though my name escapes him, he knows I am precious to him in some way and therefore I must be kept safe.
But I also see him do things that are just conditioning, like saying "thank you" to me when my mom just bought me lunch. So maybe somewhere in the back of his mind is conditioning that a man walks a woman to her car when it's dark out and it's got nothing to do with him caring about me or wanting me to be safe.
When I was over there on Friday night the Red Sox game was delayed due to a ferocious rainstorm (which we had gotten earlier) and the channel was running great moments in Red Sox history and all kinds of boring blathering and my father was swearing at it constantly. My mom and I kept one ear on it so as they updated when the game would start we would tell him, and it was if we were getting our information directly from the gods, even though it came through the same TV he was watching. My mom said he gets frustrated with TV shows with a lot of talking like that, because he can't follow it anymore and gets confused.
His new job on Fridays is to separate the edges from whatever puzzle we're doing. I had picked up a box of 3 fantasy puzzles -2 500 pc and 1 1000- for $4 at Christmas Tree Shop. My mom gave him one of the 500 pc puzzles to pull the edges out. The way the puzzles were packed in the box was strange. Usually in a multi-puzzle box each puzzle is in its own bag. The 1,000 pc puzzle was loose in the box and two smaller bags contained the 500 pc puzzle. My mom opened one of the 500 pc bags...but she also gave him the whole box. He managed to mix the two puzzles together. Not completely, but somehow quite a few pieces from the 500 pc bag made their way into the loose pieces in the box. My mom luckily noticed that the 500 pc puzzles had blue backing and the 1000 pc puzzle had beige backing so we fished out all (we hope) that got mixed in. But she learned not to give my dad more than one puzzle at once. Just too confusing for him.
The dog, Ace, knows how to fetch. He has a latex squeaky toy my mom calls "the baby" and he loves it and brings it to bed with him at night. The toy isn't a baby, it's some kind of monster, not even remotely human shaped. He bites it and paws it and makes it squeak, and if you pick it up (or wrestle it away from him, which he really likes) he barks until you throw it, and then he runs so fast he skids to get it and bring it back. When Ace barks my dad puts his hands over his ears and freaks out. It's a very childish reaction. The dog doesn't really bark that loud.
The other thing the dog does, only to me, is to climb me so that his back paws are on my chest and his front paws are on my shoulder or my head. Then he does this funny little thing which sounds like talking, like he's doing a running commentary on something, and he also howls and huffs and makes all kinds of noises. If I join him and we "sing" he gets positively gleeful, putting his head back and howling like a wolf and then licking me and squirming with excitement. He was biting my nose and my ears and wagging his tail so hard I thought he was going to fall right off me. My mom was laughing hysterically and I couldn't ask for help because if I opened my mouth there'd be a dog tongue in there. Alf used to attack me and lick my face insanely too. I must taste good to daschunds.

2 comments:

Deb Peterson said...

Gevera--Thank you for keeping up this blog. My Mom has Alzheimer's and I've had so many of these thoughts--I would really like to understand what is going on in her mind. I think that we do have to tell ourselves that they still care, despite their dementia. I suppose what matters is that they have cared for us in the past. Hang in there.

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