Friday, August 31, 2012

the incident of the contentious eggs

My mom, who has dementia, got mad at me at lunch out the other day. She usually has me order for her, as her ability with words has become limited. Performance anxiety is also a factor for her. She'll point at an item on the menu and I'll answer all of the waiter's or waitress's questions, like "Do you want fries with that?" We tend to go to a lot of the same restaurants, and she usually has a favorite item at each one, so it is usually a pretty easy process. Until the other day.

We went to a local diner that my daughter loves, where they know us. My mom pointed at the eggs section on the menu, so I ordered her favorite form of eggs — two eggs sunny side up, with bacon, home fries, and rye toast. It wasn't what she wanted, but she didn't let me know that until she had already eaten what arrived. She was pretty ticked off by that time, and wanted to know why I hadn't ordered her "regular thing." "Regular thing" is her catch phrase for everything these days. A sort of fill-in-the-blank noun substitute. I can usually figure out what she is referring to when she says that in context, but I'll be damned if I know what other "regular thing" she meant to eat when she pointed at the egg dishes on the diner menu.

It's hard for both of us. Printed words must all look like gobbledygook to her these days. I am constantly forced to play a guessing game. It's actually impressive how often I guess right. It's just no fun when I don't.
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