Monday, January 25, 2010

Eggs and eels

Life is short except when it is so long, and breakfast should be the best meal of the day. When I am old I will especially want exactly what I crave at breakfast. Don't mess with me!

We have just realized that Dad's allergy chart lists eggs, so he hasn't been served an egg--over easy, poached, or scrambled--since at least June. Somehow a very old list of allergies that may or may not cause eczema has limited Dad's breakfast choices. All this time I just thought he had developed a strange fondness for cream of wheat!

You are old, Father William, and you should have eggs cooked to your specifications! But no eel. Please do not balance your breakfast on your nose.

I'd forgotten that Father William is a creation of Lewis Carroll, and went searching for the old guy and his eel in Edward Lear's poetry.

"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose
What made you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father. "Don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs.

[Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) First publication date: 1855]

Peter Pan did not grow up. My dad is growing younger by the day. Christopher Robin had so many meals of sweetened condensed milk with Pooh. I plan to read the novel Alice I Have Been, by Melanie Benjamin, maybe even in time for the author's talk at the DMA Late Night on March 19th.

Arts & Letters Live: Melanie Benjamin
Date Friday March 19, 2010
Time 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dads in time-out/Dads in Dubai

My dad is in time-out tonight. The aides have suggested he spend cool-down time in the skilled care lounge instead of going back to his room. He needs an attitude adjustment. Like many of my students, Dad will probably forget why he is sitting aside.

The similarities between my preschool students and my father increase. So do similarities in management methods. Allegedly, another old fart tried to cut in line ahead of Dad at suppertime. Dad cussed him out, big time.

When the wheelchair gangs all travel toward the dining room it's like State Fair bumper cars. Then the frustration, impatience, limited empathy and stunted communication abilties kick in. Next thing you know, you've got a rumble between the Jets and the Sharks.

We said, "O.K., no rumpus,
No tricks."
But just in case they jump us,
We're ready to mix

My walking buddy has flown to Florida to meet her dad's flight. He's headed home from Dubai after being taken off his cruise ship with pneumonia. He spent a week in a Dubai cardiac ICU. She doesn't know if she will have to take him straight to the nearest cardiac hospital from the airport. For her

Today the minutes seem like hours.
The hours go so slowly,
And still the sky is light.
Oh moon, grow bright,
And make this endless day endless night

© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder