Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Grandma vs. Ryder

A few weeks ago, I was helping mom get ready after getting her out of the shower. She still goes through the motions of doing her makeup but she gets very confused about what goes where. One day, her mascara became an all purpose cosmetic: she used it for her eyebrows, her eyelids and lashes, her blush and her lipstick. On this particular day, she reached for a tube of pink lipstick and took the lid off, staring at it as she tried to make sense of what it was. Then, before I could stop her, she rubbed that tube of lipstick all over her cheeks.

Later that same evening, my 4-year old was entertaining himself while I was getting dinner prepped. I could hear him upstairs and figured he was playing in his room. He came downstairs and sang my name, "Mommy...."

I looked up to see a huge grin of satisfaction on his face, his cheeks bright pink, as he held his sister's tube of lipstick in his hand.

And just to note-he did NOT see grandma's lipstick incident earlier that day. This was pure coincidence. What are the odds?

I've thought about this several times over the past couple of years: how similar my mom and my toddler/preschooler are. There are many phases that they seem to go through together.

For example, they both wear their shoes on the wrong feet. If I don't get each of their socks out for them, they wear mismatched socks. There have even been times when both mom and Ryder wear different shoes on each foot.

Similarly, they have both been known to wear their clothes inside out and/or backwards; although Ryder hasn't done that in quite a while.

They both really love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Grandma probably loves it more than Ryder, but pb&j is always the comfort food for him!

They both require some assistance and supervision in the shower. They both need help rinsing out their hair. Ryder will use half the bottle of shampoo if I don't watch him and mom is no different!

Lately, my mom has been trying to sneak her pb&j sandwiches into her room. Oftentimes we will find them hidden under her pillow. When we caught her smuggling the sandwiches in towels and sweatshirts, she found a new hiding place: her pants. We get a good chuckle out of this one. I can't tell you how many times I've caught my 4 year old sneaking candy in his pillowcase and yes, even down his pants!!

Sometimes we just have to sit back and laugh; I even find the things mom does to be somewhat endearing at times. But if you sit back and think about, it really is sad. My mom is operating on a toddler level at this stage of her life. At times it has even seemed like I am caring for two toddlers, the only difference is that my son is learning new things each day; mom cannot learn anymore. It's funny and silly when Ryder sneaks things in his pants or puts lipstick on his cheeks because it's a phase that we know he will outgrow. I admit, we chuckle sometimes when mom does it too. But the sad part is that, while Ryder is learning the correct way to do things, mom is "unlearning" everything she learned in those early years of life. Every week seems to bring about new changes and we see her slip farther and farther away. The farther she slips, the harder it becomes to watch.

1 comment:

  1. I noticed the similarity between my children and my mother with Alzheimer's too. It hit me the day I watched my mother play with a doll that her behavior was just like that of my five-year-old daughter. It's a shocking reminder of the disease's cruel reversal of a lifetime of knowledge and learning.