On Sunday I was alone with Bo because Jon and his family went out for the day. How is it possible that I can view twelve hours with my dear husband as a stressful problem? I feel so guilty just saying these words, but on days like this I don’t know how to fill up the time, what to do for twelve hours. There’s nothing to entertain Bo except ride around in the car with Emma dog and eat. And watch Bo.
It wasn’t even twelve hours, really, because I got him up, showered and dressed before noon; he was upbeat and easy as usual, willing to do whatever I suggested, so I put him and the dog into the car and drove to a local root beer drive-in (I’m talking car hops here — root beer on the side window, delicious hamburgers and French fries.) All went well even though his taste has changed so much that he generally doesn’t like many of the things he used to love — including root beer.
Using the bathroom has become more of an issue so I decided to come home to be sure he was ready for the next ride and then we would drive … somewhere. Anywhere.
As it turned out, it wasn’t an ordinary day for me because of a shock which caused me great stress unrelated to caring for Bo. On the way home from lunch, I stopped at an ATM to withdraw money but received the message: “Overdraft.” What?? That’s impossible! My mind started to spin because three weeks ago one of my credit cards was hacked and someone tried to charge $30,000 of plumbing supplies in the Caribbean. Could my identity be stolen? I circled back around the bank and tried the same ATM again. Same message.
Driving home was excruciating. No matter how hard I tried to think of something else, I couldn’t, and I knew there was no way I could use the computer or phone to clear this up until Bo was napping. When he’s up I have to keep my eye on him.
To add to this, when we drove into the driveway, the questions began: What are we doing here? and escalated into a 15-minute delay. “It’s our house, Bo. Yours and mine.” I could tell that this made absolutely no sense to him. “Do you know who I am?” I asked.
He looked at me blankly, “No.”
Then against all that I know, I tried to tell him that this is our house and we’re married…. I’m Nancy. I know better. This accomplishes nothing. It no longer bothers him; he just sort of laughs and I’m sad. I’ve wasted my words — and time.
As soon as we got inside it was clear that he had no plans to nap. Instead, he kept asking me: “So, what’s up? Where are we going? When are we going?” and his favorite, “So, what’s the big deal?”
I gave up trying to convince him of anything, mainly because I was becoming more stressed over the bank. Finally, he lay down for a short while and I began my calls. (Turned out that my entire account was emptied erroneously to pay my $200 Sunoco (car) gas bill! Go figure. At least my account wasn’t stolen.)
Now, almost four hours.
Just as I hung up from customer service, Bo came out to the patio and began the questions again. He picked up a few leaves, asked what to do with them, then picked up a few more. Again he asked who owns this place and why we’re staying here. When are we going to leave? Finally, I said that soon we would take a ride.
He hesitated, then asked, “Uh, what about the big problem?”
“What big problem?”
“The pritoris are coming.” (The protoris? I had no idea what he meant. When I asked him, there was silence. )
I waited a few minutes then took another tack, “We could just stay here.”
“For how long?” I tried to explain but his reply changed the topic: “Are we going to have something to eat?”
Then I did it again, tried to explain something I should just leave alone. “We just ate — an hour and a half ago.” He looked at me blankly. The next step was inevitable.”Are you hungry?” I asked, absolutely not wanting to fix more food.
“A little bit but nothing dramatic ,” was his reply. So I went into the house to get him a bowl of peanut brittle ice cream with Oreos. He followed me inside and ate, then went into the living room to lie down again for 20 minutes.
Almost six hours.
Then we went for an hour and a half drive to nowhere with Emma. She’s my excuse. When he asks, which he often does, where we’re going, I say, “Oh, nowhere special. We’re just taking Emma for a ride. She loves the car.”
When we got home, eight hours had passed. I know because I checked the clock often. Now it was dinner time and while he sat at the table, impatient, confused and tired, I put together a meal as quickly as possible and he ate, but not without the usual bathroom interruption which takes forever and sometimes requires instructions.
At last, after his second bowl of ice cream, he said he wanted to go to bed. After I tucked him in, I sat down on the sofa with a cup of coffee hoping that I wouldn’t hear those telltale footsteps upstairs that mean he’s up again.