A Loco Viewpoint
Recently, we have been blessed with a new addition to our family. She is fairly tiny, as cute as a bug’s ear and not likely to jump up on the furniture. Our new resident will definitely create some adjustments for Cupcake and me but that’s okay. Cupcake has been adjusting my fine tuning for years and I have a feeling the new arrival will contribute a great deal to that process. This is because our new roomie is my saint-like Mom who is turning 91 next month.
“Given that your son, Wil, still lives at home, I guess it is appropriate to welcome you to the “Sandwich Generation, Chris,” smiled my sister, Judy, who had busted Mom out of her senior’s facility.
“’Sandwich Generation’?” Mom put in with a mischievous grin. “Then it’s a good thing you’re such a ham. Lettuce be thankful you’re well bread!”
Mom may be a bit frail and her memory is not quite as good as politician’s at a scandal inquiry but her quick wit is still apparent. We always thought she had a bit of whimsy to her, although some unkindly whisper her happy disposition has something to do with vanilla extract consumption.
I have a feeling I’m going to be on the receiving end of her wicked wit quite a bit during her stay, with Cupcake as Mom’s willing, even enthusiastic accomplice. I have noticed over the years that whenever women outnumber men two to one, the female folk tend to gang up on the lone male. Thusly, I think the word “bigamist” is synonymous with the term “blooming idiot”. I can’t understand how those polygamists in Bountiful ever get a word in edgewise.
Still, it will be a great pleasure to have Mom around the house, although some of my siblings have warned it may be more challenging than texting with boxing gloves on. Not that they think bad thoughts of our mother, but they do mention folks in their 90’s can be a mite set in their ways. That is “set” as in how concrete sets or how Stephen Harper’s hair is “set”.
There may be some truth to it as one example of Mom’s little foibles (recognizing, of course, that we ALL have foibles but me) is she has a horrible addiction that must be sated immediately upon waking; well, immediately following her hogging the sole bathroom in the house for a half hour during “rush hour”.
(I don’t know how we managed when I was a kid with eight siblings, including four appearance obsessed sisters, two parents and only one biffy. Being the youngest member of our family, it was always my turn dead last, which at least allowed me to sleep later than my sibs. On the downside, I was also late for school every day until three or four of my siblings eventually moved out, freeing up tinkle time.)
Nonetheless, regarding Mom’s terrible addiction, we have found ways to cope. As mentioned, we have learned to ensure Mom’s first “hit” is given to her immediately upon her emergence from morning ablutions. If she doesn’t immediately get her fix of a hot cup of tea (the first of many, most days) she becomes as lethargic as the Energizer Bunny with a dollar store battery. The tea works on Mom like liquid booster cables without the painful clamps. If we don’t get the tea in quick enough, it almost takes a portable defibrillator to get her to the table for breakfast.
It is interesting to compare Mom at 90 with the woman I have spent the first 19 years of my life with, until I left home with the loving encouragement of the toe of Dad’s boot. Back when her 5’ 2” frame towered over me, I thought she was a tall woman. She was strong, too. She could lift me up in her arms and still carry a basket of laundry on her other hip. Now that the years have gnawed and bent her achy bones, she still looms as large in my mind as she ever did.
However, where now, I do as she tells me out of a deep, abiding sense of love and respect, when I was younger, it was more out of a deep, abiding sense of fear and guilt, especially guilt. Mom was a master guilt worker and used her magical guilt skills to bend us to her will. TV Comedians talk about Jewish mothers being always with the guilt. Russell Peters, the East Indian/Canadian comic, claims Muslim moms have the guilt crown sewn up. I’d say my Mom could take them all, with one apron tied behind her back. One knew instantly if Mom began describing the painful births of all eight children, a really crappy chore was in store. Admittedly, none of us dared mention that we kids weren’t responsible for the amount of siblings we all had. That was solely Mom and Dad’s doing (Caution; bad mental image.)
Now, obviously, Mom has divested herself of her Octomom guilt stratagems. She’s realized she has credibility issues when complaining of her large brood since she’s always saying how wonderful her kids are. I am grateful my sibs and I have safely removed the horribly dangerous guilty arrow from her quiver.
She is concerned however, that Cupcake and I see her as a burden (which we find most amusing). I know whatever burden she represents, is nothing like the burden I had placed on her when I lived at Mom and Dad’s. I have warned her, however, that, like me, if she’s still living with us after 19 years, out she goes.
other articlesMotherhood is not for me
Playtime Once Again
Sleep Disorder, Cupcake Style
How to live to be 91
A Woman’s Prerogative
One Frozen Cupcake
The Hip Revision