18 August, 2016

Unsuitable Caregiver

...and if I ever lose my eyes, Oh if I won't have to cry no more....

I am not cut out for this. Look, I'm nobody's ideal of a caretaker. I'm nobody's ideal of a mother: I curse too much, tell the kids to hush when I'm writing and in general allow them to fend for themselves and scrounge for food instead of making regular meals. Naptime? Bedtime? Pffffff.

And yet. Due to Gomez being on the road pretty much full time, I've had sole responsibility for their upbringing in many areas. Parent teacher meetings (which were pretty low-key when we were homeschooling), extracurricular functions, social functions, age appropriate apparati, special projects, shopping, meals, rules and enforcement thereof... almost exclusively me.

It was exhausting.

I'd anticipated a few years of regrouping, maybe one or two pet projects completed in between children and Mother care. I don't get to have even one year, or even half a project. Mother needs more intervention: November. Monitoring her medication on a weekly basis: December. Remove Mother's car from her possession and start driving her everywhere she needs to go: January. Mother's diagnosis: February. Pugsley turns twenty-one: February. Daily monitoring of Mother's medications: March. Pugsley's accepted as a transfer student to UMD: March. Wednesday's accepted into art school: April. Pugsley graduates community college: May. Wednesday's senior class trip: May/June. Hire a part time companion for Mother: May. Wednesday graduates from Baltimore School for the Arts: June. Home visit from Department of Aging representative: June. Wednesday visits Poppi: June. Tiny four-day family vacation: June/July. Mother's friend actively resistant to letting us know when she's taking Mother for an outing: July. Part-time companion informs us she starts new full-time job soon: July. Interview with Case Manager to find new part-time companion: July. Robocall cancelling Mother's primary care doctor visit : July.  Lack of communication from companion provider company: July.

Her bifocals are missing. ExceedinglyAthleticAndVeryAdorableSister thinks the dog ate them.

That dog. THAT DOG.

He puts his mouth on EVERYTHING, including fingers, but Mother will tolerate discipline not one bit.

And as far as dogs go- and this is a sidebar- I have this to say about that, regarding Depression.

Likening depression to Winston Churchill's Black Dog helps me sometimes. Sometimes I glare at him and he lies down in the corner. Sometimes I wrestle him and I don't win, but neither does he. Sometimes he comes and lies down on top of me and all I can do is keep calm and keep breathing and wait for him to go away. He always goes away, but the days when he sits on me are now full of frustration and irritation instead of hopelessness and despair.

I'm thinking about Depression a lot lately, Since we've been unisured all year (it's complicated and Mother-related) I haven't been having my anti-depressants. I've been rationing my ADD/Narcolepsy drug I find myself responding to people my age-ish who complain about their parents being nosy, or old-school, or rude, or any number of complaints with comments like this one:

I go over to feed my mother once or twice a day, generally. Left to herself, she'll consume an entire box of fudgeicles and have no actual meals. She thinks she cooks for herself. She thinks she's 77. She's 72. The mind is a terrible thing.

I wish I had a point with this post, but sometimes, sometimes, it's nothing but complaints. It's nothing but exhaustion. 

No. Not "nothing but," because there are also moments such as this.

Mother spots a dried rose petal on my dash when she gets into the car. 

"Do you mind if I throw away this bit of... this... this dead..."


"Yes, petal. Is it all right if I throw it away, out the window?"

I put it there especially for you so you could have a fun activity.

"A fun activity. Just like Romper Room."

And she tosses the petal out the open window as we drive. 

Cat Stevens; Moonshadow


Michelle said...

Beautiful, and sad. Like aging and extreme life states in general. Hugs to you.

Cybele said...

Thanks, Mich. I had a hard time writing about it at first. But of course it's the thing I'm supposed to do.

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