Dinner is over and the dishes are in the dishwasher; the kitchen is clean. I go into the family room, hoping to be able to sit on the sofa, turn on the TV and watch a movie.
But it’s not to be. Bo has begun pacing around and soon the questions will begin.
“Hey, how do you turn this off?” he calls from the kitchen. How many times have I gotten up and showed him how to turn off the light over the stove?
I know as surely as I’m sitting here that I will not be able to remain seated because when he asks me questions, he can’t follow the directions I call out, no matter how carefully I word them. He has no idea what the nouns are that I name (chair, pillow, microwave, slipper, glove, shoe) and doesn’t understand the prepositions (on, below, beside, under, over.) So it’s impossible for him to pick up the pillow that’s beside the chair.
I get up, go into the kitchen, show him the light and return to the sofa. The movie has started.
But he calls from the living room, “How do you turn this off?”
By process of elimination, I figure out he wants to turn off the light over the piano. I try hard to explain, telling myself I won’t get up. But eventually I have to go into the living room to show him.
I return to the sofa again, give up on the movie and try to watch the food channel, knowing there’s no hope of becoming involved in a movie plot. In the background I wait and listen. He’s moving from place to place, as he does these days, opening doors and drawers, picking things up, looking for what? Then, I hear the lid of the kitchen garbage can and I know it’s coming: “Hey, should I do this?”
“Do what, Bo?”
He tries to find the words but can’t, so I help, “Empty the garbage can?”
“That would be good,” I say, knowing from previous experience that he won’t understand removing the plastic bag and replacing it with another, but I begin the explanation, again vowing to myself that I WON’T GET UP from this seat.
This time we get as far as him taking the can into the hall, then bringing the bag of trash to me so I can tie the strings together and help him take it to the garage.
I come back and sit down again. In a couple of minutes he is in the family room, moving three cushions around on a chair. I’m trying to watch the chef preparing a blackberry trifle. Then Bo says, “I can’t get it to work” (arrange the pillows and sit comfortably.) Without thinking, I start to explain to him that there is a hassock on the floor behind him….. but I give up. There is no way he can follow these directions. I remove the cushions and put them on the floor.
An hour later, I am still hoping to watch a movie.