I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that my mother’s mental state is very much that of a little girl.
Last night was one of my newly designated evenings to spend with her, in an attempt to lessen the loneliness she feels since my father’s passing. I go over after work, we have dinner, and we do some sort of activity. Lately we have been coloring but for whatever reason, I wasn’t feeling up to it last night; however it probably would have been a good idea.
Instead of the usual business we ended up watching T.V. There was a Friends marathon on the Paramount channel. (Had no idea that was a thing now.) It was playing some of the “best of episodes” to celebrate it’s 25th anniversary. (By the way, I need you to kill me, because I am officially old as fuck.)
I thought the re-watch of the show would be good for her because this used to be the show she and I would watch together every Thursday night. My mother loves/loved a comedy. Especially when they’re romantic ones. And I thought maybe the familiarity would be comforting for her.
During the re-watch she would giggle where it was appropriate, almost like she was waiting for me or the laugh track to initiate it. During the commercials she would titter at some of the more bizarre things that I couldn’t understand why she found them so comical. At one point she turned to me during the end of a Chase commercial to ask me if I had had that drink. To which I responded, “nope, I haven’t tried that Chase drink.”
I feel like an asshole sometimes with the way I respond to her strange questions. I am being relatively cruel, but I don’t think she’s even picking up on my sarcasm. She’s very much in her own world.
While I was making dinner she excitedly pulled out a thing of mashed potatoes she had made the week prior. She put them in the microwave and set the time for 5 minutes, which I’m sure is entirely too long but… whatever. She didn’t let the clock run out. She kind of kept an eye on it and turned it off when she thought it had been in long enough. However, then she completely forgot all about them until I remembered that they should be thrown away.
When I suggested tossing them she looked visibly distraught, but then waved her hands and agreed. And as I threw them away she rushed into the kitchen, grabbed the pot I had used to boil hot dogs (her favorite way of preparing them), filled it with water, and then dropped 4 unpeeled, unwashed potatoes in and began to boil them. To top all that off she got an over-sized lid and placed it on top.
I asked her what she was doing and she said she was making them for my cousin (who was supposed to arrive the following morning.)
Once I announced that the potatoes were done (I had no idea, I just wanted to go and didn’t want her using the stove before she went to bed because she’s already left the gas on overnight once before) she hurried in there and started to “peel” the scalding, boiled potatoes with a knife held at a 90 degree angle. Her idea was to literally scrape the skin off. I tried to help her and then she got annoyed with me, splashed them back in the pot and announced that she would continue tomorrow morning. She wanted them to be “ready when my cousin arrived.”
My cousin has this habit of travelling late at night and sometimes arrives/leaves in the early morning hours. My mother, so excited for his visit heard noises at 3 A.M. and went outside to investigate them in her nightgown. She was out there for 10 minutes searching for my cousin. When she had decided he was not there or the one who had made the noises she had heard, she went back inside.
This I witnessed all at 7 A.M. when i was reviewing the recordings to see if my cousin had in fact kept his word about coming to visit. (My family is notoriously flaky.)
From this experience I have learned I will no longer inform her of visitors. Because of it she gets excited and will do dangerous things that could be deadly. All I do is replay the possibilities of where every action she took could have gone wrong.