I have only one child with Bob. I have many stepchildren, grandchildren, and great grandchildren but only one child that we had and raised together. I can say without any doubt that Kyle was the easiest child to raise EVER. No drama. No behavioral issues. No terrible twos or threes or even thirteens. Just a fun, well behaved, enjoyable kid. He was a joy to parent and at 31 he is still a huge blessing in our lives. I only tell you this so that I can explain why I am not doing well in handling what is going on currently in my life. I have no training!
Bob has gotten to a stage where he always needs supervision. It’s been a few years since I stopped leaving him home alone, but it has morphed into my need to be by his side or in the same room. If I do not watch over him like a hawk, then crazy things happen. It’s hard to imagine that he’s my husband. I feel I have another toddler to care for.
Here’s a rundown of the last week:
• Threw his socks and underwear in the trashcan instead of the hamper. Several times throughout the week.
• Spilled large mugs of coffee on himself, his recliner, and the area rug—actually 4 times this week.
• Put meals that he didn’t finish in the pantry. Boy did we have ants from that!
• Wiped dirty plates off with a napkin and put them back in the cupboard.
• Hid a cup of coffee in the cupboard behind the trashcan so that no one would drink it overnight. Of course, it ended up spilling and making a mess.
• Filled the bathroom sink with shaving cream instead of putting it on his head/face to shave.
• Cut the top off several Keurig pods and just dumped the coffee in his cup of coffee to make it taste better. And grittier.
• Emptied the dishwasher and put away the dishes. Would have been nice but the dishes hadn’t been washed yet.
• Heated his coffee in the microwave for 6 minutes instead of 60 seconds so that it boiled over and made a puddle of HOT BOILING coffee in the microwave that nearly burnt him. This is a repeated offense.
• Hid his wallet, handkerchief, and hat so that they wouldn’t get stolen by the imaginary people who are staying here and then in the morning he couldn’t remember where they are hidden and was convinced that they were stolen. This too is an ongoing situation but when he hides the wallet when I’m not watching then we both are hunting for it the next day.
• Moved some furniture in the living room and guest room out of the way to accommodate more imaginary people that needed a place to sleep that night. At least he’s kind and accommodating to these people in his delusions!
And then this morning…
• He cut off his beard with scissors!
While these things happened, I was home but obviously not paying close enough attention to all that he was doing. I was nearby in the shower when he started to cut off his beard but by the time I grabbed a towel and hopped out to stop him, it was too late. There was no turning back. He no longer has a beard.
So, in my defense, I never imagined that I would have to treat my husband like a toddler that needs constant supervision. Due to our well-behaved son, I am ill-prepared for this stage of caregiving to my hubby. This is all new to me!
But I’m learning. I’ve now hidden the scissors. I’ve put childproof locks on bathroom cabinets where there are medicines. I follow him into the bathroom. If he leaves the room, so do I. My neighbors know to tell me if they see him outside. I buckle and unbuckle his seat belt. I taste his food to make sure it not too hot. Like a worn-out mommy, I’m happy he takes naps and sleeps through the night.
I’ve also realized that even though people like helping and babysitting a well-behaved cute toddler, “Bob-sitting” a badly behaved 83-year-old is NOT something they will volunteer to do!
So, THANKS Kyle for making my parenting job an easy and gratifying one. Although I’m not prepared for the task at hand, at least I didn’t have to go through this madness before. Once is plenty.
But for now, I’m off to bed.
Mommy tip #1: Sleep when your baby sleeps.