And How Are the kids?

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And How Are the Kids?

If there is one thing my mother loves more than anything it’s her grandchildren, and this has not abated, even with her memory loss. My daughter and two grandchildren live close to me and my mother looks forward to seeing them. However, she is confused about where they live. Whenever I talk with her she asks, How are the kids?”  She thinks they live with me, much to my daughter’s dismay. I always have to remind her that they live with their mother and father, and the last time I saw them they were OK.

When the grandchildren grew up and had children of their own and she became physically slower and mentally not as acute, we knew Mom would not able to do the things with the greats that she had been able to do with her grandkids. Sometimes, it is hard for her to realize this.

     When she sees my daughter she will say , “ Bring the kids over any time. I can watch them for you.”

     “We’ll see,” says my daughter tactfully, picturing her very active three and five-year-olds alone in the room with her grandmother for even ten minutes.

My mother must have realized her own nightmare, though. One day Mom and I went out to lunch with my daughter and the two great grandkids. The lunch went well, the kids were good, if a bit squirmy, which is normal. That must have been on her mind because at 10 o’clock that night I got a phone call.

     “Are you coming to pick up the kids?”

     “What kids?” I said, “You mean Erika’s?”

      “Yes…They’re running around the room and up and down the hall. I’ve tried to get them to stop. They’ve been here all afternoon.”

     “ I will call Erika,” I said playing along.

     ” No, Erika is here too,” she replied.

     “Let me talk with her,” I said.

When my mother turned from the phone and called for her I knew I had gone too far with this game.

     “She must have gone out of the room,” my mother said.

     “She probably took them home,” I said.

Just then there was a knock on my mother’s door and I heard an aide talking with her.

     “Ask her if she has seen any kids in the hallway,” I said.

After hearing her ask and the response, I knew that was my “out.”

     “Mom, you’re going to be fine. I’ll talk with you tomorrow,” I said, hanging up.

And the next day when I called she had no memory of it.

     “How are the kids?” she asks.

     “They’re fine,” I say.

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