Sunday, July 26, 2009

laugh or cry?

"I don't know whether to laugh or cry" is a sentiment we voice when a situation seems outlandish, but poignantly so. Mom has me feeling this way nowadays, as her behavior slips into the ever more bizarre. We now have to watch her more closely at mealtimes: left to her own devices, Mom might do any of the following:

1. Tip the water from her glass into the bowl or plate holding her main course, resulting in a soggy or diluted mess.

2. Dip a napkin into her cup, then begin wiping her TV tray with it.

3. Put food into her mouth, chew it for a while, then forget that it's in her mouth.

4. Use her chopsticks to take food out of its proper bowl, place it onto a napkin, then attempt to roll the napkin up to do who-knows-what.

5. Take the remains of one drink and pour them into another, perfectly fresh drink.

All five of the above behaviors occurred at dinner today. Along with the above, Mom took the rotisserie chicken she'd been given, shredded it with her fingers, then separated the flesh into two neat, equally sized piles on her plate. After several minutes, I saw that she had eaten almost none of the chicken. And after she had had a chance to clean her greasy fingers with some sanitary wipes, she poured out a puddle of water onto her TV tray, then began using her sanitary wipe-- which was tiny-- to try to sop up the puddle.

Laugh or cry? Me, I sighed and cleaned up after Mom as best I could.

UPDATE, 10:20PM: Mom seems less fidgety now. She watched the latest episode of "The Next Food Network Star" with us, and now she's watching a Korean drama with Dad. Because Mom's on the Korean channel (MBC America) all day, I'm learning more about these dramas than I ever wanted to. Blech.



Dale Conlan said...

Your mom use to put her meats and things greasy on napkins to draw out the grease from the foods. I always thought of that as being she just didn't want to get any of the grease in her system. Maybe that is what she is doing.
Dale, NALC Friend

Kevin said...

Hi, Dale, and thanks for commenting.

I should have noted that, in this case, Mom was putting her veggies on the napkin, and putting the shredded meat directly onto a plate, without worrying about the grease. What she does these days is sometimes remembered behavior, sometimes just... what she does.