Tag Archives: elder-care

Life is Short, Eat Dessert First?

A funny story, but also a question at the end.

So when I went to see my mom last week, I saw that her Lean Cuisine dinner (she’ll only eat that for dinner, and only one kind) was sitting on the counter with a cover over it, but getting cold. I suggested that maybe she should try to eat it while it was still warm, or I could re-heat it for her. She nodded and moved it to the table, put the cover back on it, and walked away.

OK…. picking my battles, I moved on.

We went to go sit and watch The Sound of Music (her daily show), that was already on when I got there, and she picked up the half gallon of ice cream sitting there. I said “Oh! Dessert before dinner! Good idea!” with a smile, and she said “Well, I saw there was still some left in here and I thought I’d better finish it off.” I said “Oh, well, you’re an adult, enjoy! How much was left?” “Ohhhhh, about half.”

Me internally: !!!!!!!!!! half!!!!!!!!????

So we sit there watching the movie as she scoops mouthful after mouthful of ice cream in, and I start hearing these heavy sighs or “ooof”s. I look over at her and she is looking down at the ice cream container with some apparent consternation. I said “Mom, you don’t have to finish it off, it’s okay, we can just put it back in the freezer.” She said “no, no!” I couldn’t decide if she wanted it or felt she *had* to finish it.

Her Depression Era childhood says to finish all food and not throw anything away, and her lack of memory lets her forget her dinner completely.

Finally I said I had to get going but suggested that she put the ice cream away if she was full and not to skip dinner completely. I just couldn’t watch her doing that anymore. I mean, I’ve been known to eat a pint of ice cream in one sitting before, but not when I’m clearly TIRED OF IT!

I felt a little helpless. What would you have done?