Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Miss My Daddy

It's weird how parents can make their adult children feel like kids. Suddenly I feel like Doogie Houser typing on his computer at the end of an episode in 1992. <Insert thoughtful look here> But really it is a strange transition to make to be on equal ground with your parents. And stranger still when that parents needs your help just like you once needed theirs. My daddy has dementia, and I really miss him. :-( The doctor says it's most likely Alzheimer's (one day I will learn how to spell that without looking it up) but I guess it's hard to know for sure? Alzheimer's is just a form of dementia which covers pretty much any type of memory loss. Doesn't matter what they want to call it, he's not really my dad anymore. And it sucks!

I've been learning a lot when I hang out with my dad. Learning not to expect as much, learning there are some question not worth asking, learning I can listen to the radio when I drive him around because he can't hear it anyway. And learning it's remarkable how alike two people can be that are 74 years apart in age. Owen is 3 and daddy is 77. (This is what happens when you wait until later in life to have children. My dad was almost 46 when I was born.) At times it's almost uncanny.

Both of them are infinitely stubborn. Dad likes to buy ham when I take him grocery shopping, but it has to be Oscar Mayer ham or else it's not ham. Owen like to listen to the blue Imagination Movers cd when he goes to bed. Don't try to give him the red one unless you want trouble.

Both of them have little things that make them happy. Owen likes to drive home from daycare on the residential streets (the quiet road) instead of the main street (busy road) and he gets excited every day when I tell him we will go that way. Dad likes to drive home from the grocery store a certain way and he gets excited every time too. Literally they both say "Yay!" when I agree to go on the road they want.

I have to speak with them both the same way. Short simple phrases like, "That's not safe for you." or when they ask for something that I know is not going to happen, "Maybe we can do that later." because I know they will both forget about it. But Owen is getting better about remembering things now while daddy is getting worse.

I have to constantly worry about them wandering off when we are in a public place.

They both trust me completely. When we are driving, half the time neither of them knows where I'm taking them, and they are both fine with that because they are with me.

They are both equally hard to understand when they try to tell stories.

Here's a recent conversation with Owen while watching a baseball game...
Owen: Are we going to see that little boy again?
Me: What little boy?
Owen: The one that is friends with Noah.
Me: Noah and the Ark?
Owen: No! Not Noah. I said Noah!
Me: I'm sorry honey, I don't understand what you're asking.
Owen: (frustrated growl) The little boy!
Me: What little boy?
Owen: The one whose daddy fell down and hit his head and had to go to Heaven!
Me: OH! (Shannon Stone fell to his death at the ballpark in July and his 6 year old son threw out the first pitch at a playoff game recently then he went to sit with Nolan Ryan which Owen can't pronounce and calls him Noah) No, we will not be seeing that little boy today.

And a recent conversation with Daddy.....
Dad: (out of nowhere) And she just went and got pregnant.
Me: Who did?
Dad: That girl.
Me: Which girl?
Dad: The girl that use to own it.
Me: Um, she used to own what?
Dad: The one that doesn't work anymore.
Me: What doesn't work anymore?
Dad: (frustrated noise as he tries to remember a word) The thing that drives on wheels.
Me: A car?
Dad: Yes!
Me: So who is this girl?
Dad: She used to own the car across the street but then she got pregnant and couldn't drive it anymore so she wants to sell it.
Me: OH! (Still feel like I'm missing something. Why wouldn't you be able to drive just because you're pregnant? Nah, it's not worth asking.)

As I continue this adventure of watching the opposite ends of life unfolding before my eyes, on one hand I think it's a blessing that the timing worked out as it did. Living with Owen and knowing how to have a conversation with a 3 year old has really helped me to communicate better with my dad.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Date With Owen

You probably read about my date with Collin awhile ago but if you missed it you can see it here, Hey! That was my first link! Look at me, I'm all tech-y. :-0

I sort of got the idea to take my boys out one at a time because I remember my Daddy taking me out on a date once when I was eight. I don't remember where we had dinner, but I remember that I wore a fancy dress and he kept calling me his 'date' and opening doors for me. It made me feel really special. I do remember after dinner that we had to stop to get gas on the way home. I knew I was being spoiled when he agreed to buy me a Pepsi out of the vending machine because that was a very rare splurge when I was little. 

On Saturday I had my first try at a date with Owen. He's not quite the smooth gentleman that Collin is yet, but he has his own style... Like Spazmatron 2008 style! (He's a Spaz and he was born in '08. Get it?) We had been planning this for a few days otherwise I wouldn't have taken him out because after a quick trip to the doctor on Saturday morning we learned that he has strep and a double era infection. Poor kid! The Doctor said he has been sick for awhile, but I swear you wouldn't know it except that he hasn't been eating and sleeping so well. He still runs and plays and screams and all those normal kid things. He had slept late that morning because he was up a good part of the night before so he didn't have a nap. So what do I do? I take the hyper, sick, sleep-deprived child to Applebees of course!

Owen was so excited about going to "Apple-peas" and had been talking about it for days. He had never been there before but we drive by it all the time and he likes to point out the big red apple. We looked at the menu online ahead of time and he couldn't stop talking about having macaroni and chocolate milk.

When we got there he immediately needed to go potty. This is his way of telling me that he is bored. He had JUST gone 15 minutes ago when we left the house. But he was insistent, so off we went before we even ordered the chocolate milk. We got back to the table and ordered our food and he was having a good time looking at the dessert menu and coloring his kid's menu. As soon as the food got to the table he had to go AGAIN! Seriously? That bored? I tried to distract him but then he started in with the really loud fussing that everyone around us could hear. "I really need to go potty, Mommy! I need to! Really bad!" Ok, ok. I'm way more familiar with that Applebees restroom than I ever wanted to be. Back to the table. One bite of macaroni, one look at the fries and he was done. Yup. done. Then he got busy crawling under the table and trying to sit on the window ledge and trying to open and close the blinds and emptying the sugar packets from the little box. He hit his head on the table twice while trying to look for a dropped crayon. Twice! Both times resulting in wailing cries and people staring. It was basically a disaster. But hey, my chicken fried steak was yummy. :-)

Before dinner we had stopped at a store to buy Owen a new toy. He picked an innocent looking stuffed bear that sings "Jesus Loves Me" in a creepy child's voice on a bad recording. Whatever. He loves it and that's all that matters. He was worried when I told him to leave the singing bear in the car for dinner because he thought the bear would be sad all alone. That bear would have probably been sadder sitting at our table for dinner.

But really what can you expect? He's three. He did have a fun time hanging with mom and I liked being with him too. Maybe next time we should plan something just a bit less public. Maybe Chuck E. Cheese's or something where he wouldn't stick out so much with the Spazing. :-)

I did manage to get him to sit still for one picture. It's not the greatest, but it's not like he was going to pose for a retake.

Monday, October 10, 2011

October Baseball

I written before about my nerdy obsessions, here is my current one. For the second year in a row my Texas Rangers have made it to the playoffs. As I write this, we are 2 games to 0 against the Tigers in the American League Championship Series and 2 wins away from our second trip to the World Series!

Some people have told me that, as a nerd, I'm not allowed to like sports at all. But I disagree! For the record Baseball is the only sport I follow which makes me one of about 8 people that live in Texas who don't love the Dallas Cowboys more than life itself. (Luckily for me I'm married to one of the other ones in that extreme minority.) Anyway, if you are REALLY into a sport then you are memorizing stats and comparing players and teams and forming fantasy teams... Hello? Can you say Nerdy? In my opinion it takes more work to keep up with that kind of stuff than it does to memorize lines from Star Wars. That movie is 35 years old and the lines aren't changing. Well, okay, some of them changed and we all know that was just wrong. I should have picked a different example but you know what I mean. Baseball stats are changing all the time and it's much harder to keep up.

My love of the game is more emotionally based. I don't memorize things on purpose. I get attached to the players. For example, my current celebrity crush is C.J. Wilson. Alright, I just heard 3 of the 4 people that read this blog say, "Who?" He's the current lead starting pitcher and he's got sideburns that could complete with the 10th Doctor. ;) I get sad when a player I like is traded (I still miss Salty) and I feel bad for them when they mess up and I miss them in the lineup when they have an injury. There are also some players I don't care for and I get angry at the manager for allowing them in the game. I get happy when they win and sad when they lose. And I often refer to myself as part of the team. (See first paragraph.)

As we are now into the playoffs and every game is so important, my life has made some adjustments. When there is a day game I listen to the radio instead of podcasts at work. I send out mass text messages to my fellow fans as we all ride this wave together. I base the days that I will take Collin to Karate class on if there is a game that night or not. (He doesn't want to go most of the time so he's not upset about this.) Tonight the game ran long. Four and a half hours and 12 innings kind of long! I think I was holding my breath for the last 3 innings at least and I KNOW this my blood pressure has to be higher this month than it was in September. As a result my sweet boys got to stay up late which they loved. Owen was in the living room with me and we were waving our rally towels and yelling for our team. When Nelly hit that beautiful walk-off Grand Slam I'm sure the neighbors could hear us screaming! I felt bad about the kids getting to bed late. It was only 20 minutes but I like to keep us on a schedule since they have to wake up so early. I hope they will be okay for tomorrow. But this will all be over, win or lose, by the end of the month and we can get back on track.

The magic of your team playing October baseball is a wonderful thing. Like experiencing a new season of Doctor Who, or anxiously waiting for a Harry Potter book or movie. I am loving every minute of it and all too soon it will be gone and I'll be left with an empty feeling and  wondering what's on tv.

As a tribute to those of you that visit hoping to hear cute kid stories, I have one. I hope this is not TMI for anyone, but I think it's incredibly funny. You need to know ahead of time that Owen saw my birth control pills once and commented that he wanted some of my "candy" so I had to make up a story to keep him from wanting them.... Now Owen has only been potty-trained for 5 months or so and he's done exceptionally well, but he still gets scared to go by himself and wants me in there. I'm willing to do this most of the time since he did all the work and trained himself, I figure I owe him. It seems as least once every few days as he is conducting his business he comments that I am a girl and therefore I don't have a pee-pee like he does. I confirm his statement. Then he continues with "And if I eat some of your medicine then I will turn into a girl and my pee-pee will go away." Again, I confirm this is also true and then I start to wonder what his pre-school teacher must think goes on in our house.