I’m sitting on the bottom step in our hallway, the dog lying with her head on my feet. Bo is in the living room on the sofa, haunched over, straining to find an elusive idea that he can’t bring out.
I’m exhausted. Exhausted from trying to convince him that he has nothing he must do– no one to contact tonight or tomorrow. I’m exhausted from “entertaining” him by driving around, eating out. Exhausted from trying to explain why the front and back yards are torn up and re-seeded and why he can’t pick up the dried grass that the lawn guys spread over the seeds. And just exhausted from having to explain and explain.
I discovered that we needed a new sprinkler to keep the grass seed damp so I took Bo and Emma to the hardware store to get one. When we pulled up (to one of Bo’s favorite hardware stores), he asked if we were going to eat dinner there.
“No, we can’t eat here. This is a hardware store.”
“I didn’t know that, “ he said.
Yesterday we took Charlie cat to the veterinarian for his shots. When we were getting out, Bo picked up two letters I needed to mail and asked if we would mail them there. I explained that this was the vet’s and you don’t mail letters there.
“I didn’t know that,” he said.
Tonight at the hardware store he said something completely nonsensical about being from the United States and “not worrying about that.” It was in reference to the sprinkler the salesman was explaining to me. I managed to change the subject and walk away.
Bo has always been friendly. He talks to people all the time. Now he says to almost everyone he sees, “Are you having fun today?” I always go on alert at this point, wondering what he will say next and if I’ll need to intercede.
In the last few months, he seems to be losing perception. If I say the tomatoes are delicious, he looks at his plate containing chicken, potatoes, corn and tomatoes, and doesn’t know which is the tomatoes. He has put mayonnaise on his corn-on-the-cob and butter on his salad; orange juice on his cheerios and in his coffee. He even asked me one night if the ice cream was my invention. When I explained that we buy all of our ice cream, he said, “I didn’t know that.”
As I write this, he’s now upstairs getting ready for bed, still fretting about tomorrow. Will he need things to eat? he calls down. “For what?” I respond. He just stands at the top of the steps, unable to explain.