Adding water to plastic flowers in a vase
Putting the TV remote in your handbag
Storing cutlery under the pillow
Folding undies and carefully placing them in the fridge
Dementia is my mum’s gift to me. She can’t remember what my children are doing this week, but I’m hearing loads of stories of her long ago boyfriends before my dad.
Dementia is my mum in tears when she can’t remember how to listen to phone messages
Dementia is 4am phone calls when she can’t remember if it’s my sister’s birthday or her wedding anniversary today
Dementia is finding pleasure in patting a kitten for hours at a time
Dementia is not knowing about Facebook or Snapchat or being contactable 24/7
Dementia is driving to the favourite places of my mum’s childhood
Dementia is sitting quietly doing puzzles that aren’t challenging
Dementia is telling all the staff in her nursing home that she is Polish, when her grandmothers were Irish and Welsh and her parents were born in Australia
Dementia is keeping her here long enough to value and appreciate and say thank you and goodbye
We have been gay
Going our way
Life has been beautiful
We have been young
After you’ve gone
Life will go on
Like an old song we have sung
When I grow too old to dream
I’ll have you to remember
When I grow too old to dream
Your love will live in my heart
So kiss me my sweet
And so let us part
And when I grow too old to dream
That kiss will live in my heart
Only 10 days to go until my delinquent children go back to the maximum security prison I’ve chosen for them. Mothers, if you’re looking for something to fill the remaining days of torture, no, I mean happiness, I believe that staycations are currently popular. Or as single mothers call them, staying at home because it’s all we can bloody afford. So my kids and I are on trend. Travelling with kids and pets is just moving the chaos and mess to another more expensive location anyway. Or you could try going on a cheap holiday with another single parent; boozing, gatecrashing other people’s parties at the park for food and losing your children at an unfamiliar shopping centre are standard single mother school holiday adventures.
If, like me, the thought of camping makes you dry retch, borrow a tent from a friend and pitch it in the back yard for your kids or even the front nature strip if you live in an apartment. In summer kids can live in a tent for months at a time. Think about this: the money you save on holidays can go towards a cleaner, so you can continue to be a dirty house mother.
The long summer holidays can often look like this: extra kids, 3 broken eggs, 2 sleep ins, 7 old movies watched 100 times, 3 shopping expeditions to the two dollar shop, 3 weeks, sorry, days spent wearing pyjamas, 8 play dates, 37 cupcakes, 15 burnt offerings, dog eared books, hundreds of sighs and ‘I’m-so-bored’s’, 12 paintings that the landlord will want you to remove before you get your bond back, and one over-medicated, cranky, over-tired mother. On the last day of the school holidays, I will have a picnic to celebrate the end of summer, if you can call a bottle of riesling a picnic.