Stealthy Senior

So this whole idea of the parent becoming the child, and the child becoming the parent is becoming increasingly apparent in my everyday life.

I’m not sure if I mentioned in my previous Blog, that on our recent holiday, my  condiments, Salt and Pepper had tacitly agreed that either one or the other would be “babysitting” me (aka keeping me occupied) at any given point in time.

So this morning, I had displayed some clandestine behaviour, which would make any teenager sneaking into the house after breaking curfew proud!!

It also reminded me of the time that I “caught my mom out” years ago giving lifts to all the old cronies in her Retirement Village. 

Like most irresponsible children, my siblings and I allowed my mom to continue driving way past her sell-by date. It’s not that simple to take that little bit of independence that parents have left away from them, so many children prolong the big decision to “confiscate” their parent’s car. That was us…. the irresponsible children. 

On one occasion my mom was due to come and visit myself and my children, but phoned in the morning to say that she is not feeling great, and would rather be close to her oxygen machine. I had asked her if she needed me to go past, or get anything from the shops for her, and she would have none of it.

Anyway, I went off to do some shopping….and low and behold, you could have knocked me over with a feather, there was my mom, with a couple of woman from her Retirement Village, looking very sprightly and not lacking any oxygen whatsoever!!

When she caught a glimpse of me, she pretended not to see me, and tried to dart in another direction (very quickly for an old fogey lacking oxygen and feeling under the weather I might add). I caught up with her and asked her what she was doing there, to which she replied (with a panicked look on her face), “nothing….nothing I just needed to get something from the shops.” She then darted off as quickly as she possibly could……two old goats traipsing after her in a state of confusion.

I seriously found her behaviour most disturbing and concerning, and spent the rest of the day wondering if she had gone totally batty. It was only later that I had realised that she had in fact been transporting people back and forth to the shops as the “driver of the village”…… the early version of “Uber” if you will.

So back to me. I do need to give you a little bit of a background into my past, which in this instance involves Pepper. Yes again Pepper is the content for another blog. I somehow feel that Pepper is mentioned way more in my blogs then Salt….a fact of which I have no doubt Salt is only too happy about!!

So when my children were still little cubs, I used to spend the majority of my days over the weekends working at my party venue. 

Being a mother, and feeling the ever present guilt and doubt about the time and attention I was giving to my children on the weekends (as mothers do…. for the rest of their lives), I would ensure that by the time I left in the morning, there was food for all meals ready for the taking. 

Some of the food would be in the fridge, some of the food would be in the oven, some of the food was already dished up on the table and covered with net. To sum up, any village idiot (including Pepper), would have realised…. especially after being duly informed, that there was food prepared for when they got hungry during the course of the day.

Granted, some of the food might have had to be put in another plate, warmed up or involved some kind of physical activity before being eaten. Or even worse….one might have had to walk to the drawer to get one’s own utensils!! But somehow Salt, being 3 years younger then Pepper managed to figure this puzzling conundrum out!!

So after a long day of working hard, being exhausted and looking forward to just relaxing for 5 minutes, I would enter the home, and before even putting my bag down, there would be Pepper looking like seriously neglected child, telling me “he’s starving”. Between my gritted teeth, I I would ask him why he hadn’t eaten anything. And his response was always “what is there to eat?”

Eventually I had realised that my Pepper was never going to take it upon himself to feed himself!

To this day I do not know whether this was because he felt he was Royalty, and needed to be “served”, or whether he just was excessively DIM!!

I should have nipped this in the bud in the early days, and shoved his nose in the food that I had left prepared for him, as one does when house training a puppy. In that way, whatever the reason, he would have learnt a lesson. 

Hence Pepper is still exactly the same….. yes… all 24 years old of him!

So now being COVID times, Pepper works from home 2 days a week. I go into work everyday, and am thankfully not in the house when it is time for Pepper to eat breakfast. 

But heaven help me if I am in the house during the time that Pepper is thinking about his first meal of the day, and all I hear is “Moooooom…. I’m hungry”. 

Of course instead of telling him, “me too, and whatever you make for yourself make for me”, I leap up and proceed to make the swine bastard breakfast. 

My fault… I know. 

So this morning I went on my walk with a friend, and the walk ended a bit too early for my liking, as Pepper would neither have already left the house, nor sorted his breakfast out himself. Knowing that on hearing my presence with my first foot step into the house would have me hearing “mooooom I’m hungry”, I decided to sneak into the house, get my music and earphones, and continue walking until it was safe to return home.

What I am bewildered by, is that Pepper does not hear ANYTHING that comes out of my mouth, unless he is looking straight at me and his concentration is focused. Even then, his mind wanders off into a land of enchantment to successfully block out my ”noise”.

But one faintly inhaled breath as mommy is about to enter the front door, THAT HE HEARS PERFECTLY!!!!

So, back to this morning. As I leopard crawled into the house, I heard him open the bathroom door. With my stealth like abilities, I backed against the wall in order for him not see me. Phew, mission accomplished. Off I went to walk for another 30 minutes, in order to ensure that I was only going to enter the house once it was safe to do so.

Was he hungry…. I don’t know. Did he cook….I don’t know. Did he have anything to eat…. I don’t know. Do I care…. I don’t know.

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