Posted 4-1-19 aka April Fool’s Day
Being the baby (of 3) Applegate child, I was an interesting little fireball. I was what the child psychologists would have called at the time, “hyperactive”. Now, I am not an etymologist not am I an entomologist 😉 , but I am pretty sure the medical term “hyperactive” comes from two Greek words: “hype” meaning “overrated” and “ractive” meaning the compound word “racing+active like a freaking horsefly on Red Bull”. In summary, I was super cute enough get away with having a “drive me nuts” kind of bouncing-off-the-walls personality. Oh yes, and I was also one that bit his siblings and their friends….a lot. My siblings lost multiple friendships because their little brother was a chronic biter. BUT, I was so cute and was the baby, so I got away with it. I can only wonder how my siblings approached the April 1st prankfest holiday, considering perhaps tying this little punk on the back on the family sedan like a strand of wedding cans.
So my personality wasn’t ideal. I get it. However, I did behave when I toddled next door to my grandparent’s house and, thankfully, always behaved and kept my teeth to myself there. I suppose part of why I behaved like an actual human there was a combination of spoiling with food/TV, a quiet, passive grandma, and the pleasant reality that they always let me “help” around their house. My siblings got to help, for real, at our house. They had a herculean chore chart. For me, they were better off hog-tying me in a room and attempting to keep me from being so loud as to wake up my 3rd-shift-working dad. But at Grandma’s I was a big kid and “helped”. My chores: I raked the shag carpet and I filled the birdbath. The latter is pretty self-explanatory: any kid could carry quart mini-pitchers of water back and forth 36 times to fill the birdbath with what didn’t spill in transit. The carpet raking, for those under 40, would likely sound like a strange thought. Back then, shag pile (strands) of carpet seemed to be almost as long as the hippie’s hair. You had to use a large raking device to comb the carpet uniformly lest it get beaten down and look like a path through the olive green or flame orange yard. That was my favorite job, and grandma slipped me some cash for my trouble. I am sure my sibs loved that even more. This punk, friend-biter kid that gets all of the attention is making big bucks next door. He probably got at least 4 or 5 extra games at PacMan at Git-N-Go down the street for that! And they schemed…oh, I imagine they schemed.
The only tangible joke they played on me in my memory of those years was they would try to separate me from Sparky, my stuffed tiger, and hold it hostage or try to sell it in our garage sale. Sparky was my Linus blanket, and I kept him with me so much that he became quite tattered….but that didn’t stop them. In the end I survived and so did Sparky. All this angst because I bit (lots of) people, ran around like a crazed beast, and helped a lot for a little money at grandma’s. (Oops…switch those).
Today at the memory unit, something common yet previously unmentioned happened again. One of the Sweet 17 got in trouble for “helping” and she lashed out loudly in response. I half expected to see this princess nom nom on the nurse’s bicep when the LPN requested that she not help quite so much. The damsel was cleaning up tables and removing food from right under the fork of the ladies who really needed to eat, so the nurse was wise in correcting the resident; however, the brain-broken princess scolded her for stopping her from doing “her job”. This kind of thing happens often in the memory unit. Remember that the Sweet 17 and mom didn’t always have memory issues. They were teachers, accountants, nurses, police officers, farm girls, and other hard working ladies. They want and need to help, yet can’t. This is a huge challenge since they are usually bored and knew that sitting around was frowned upon for the first 75-80 years of their lives. It is so hard to balance their need to be productive with their ability and their safety.
Mom was ok today. Not great, not bad. She was happy and my pictures show some of the joy, but not shown was her gloominess, lethargy/zombiesqueness, and her confusion. We finally got to discuss her lethargy with her doctor and he said that he was going to make some unspecific reductions in her meds. Sigh…
A full day today to be sure. In many ways I am just raking the carpet for you, the reader, while my step-dad and sister do the heavy lifting next door, but all of the tasks need to be done and don’t fault me from still just being a cute kid at heart.
OK…enough cute pictures of me. 😉