Text message comes in from mom..."We got the frog." My reaction... what? I start scrolling through my text messages thinking that I must have forgotten something about frogs. Maybe, I think, my sister was sending my mother something with a frog on it? A stuffed frog perhaps? We don't collect frogs, I think, as I'm mentally inventorying our house. What could she be talking about? Obviously, I decide with a mental sigh, my mother has lost some of her mind!!!! She must have been talking with someone else and sent this to me without realizing I wouldn't know what she meant. I text back a "?"
The rest of the message told me that my dad was angry at mom. Again. She had said "not now," again. He wanted her to check that he filled his pill boxes correctly for the week. She didn't. yah, yah, yah... heard this before. But, good daughter, I call my dad.
Before long, with some cajoling, dad tells me why he's angry at mom, gets it off his chest, and then tells me he fell in the kitchen. This isn't good. "What happened dad?"
"I fell and had to slide on my butt into the living room to the carpet so I could use the soft chair to help me get off the floor." He sounded despondent. I said, cheerily, "Dad! This is wonderful! The last two times you fell, you couldn't figure out how to get yourself up and this time you got yourself to the chair and got yourself up! That's amazing. That's great!" And dad seemed a little cheerier. Next question... "Dad, but why did you fall?"
Dad says "I was trying to catch the mouse." A mouse? What? He self-corrected... "No, I mean a squirrel." My parents live on the third floor with no trees around the terrace."You had a squirrel in your apartment?" I asked doubtfully? "A baby squirrel" he assured me. As if that was better!? And he proceeded to tell me how he tried to throw a bowl over it to catch it and when he leaned down to pick it up, he fell. And the bowl tipped. And the squirrel ran away.
The next morning, the facilities guy came and found it, killed it and all was resolved as far as dad was concerned. I am thinking WHAT????
So, since I am from NY and know that a rat can look like a mouse or a squirrel to someone with bad eyesight, I am thinking we have some trouble in this brand new luxury senior residence building! I call the front desk to find out who I need to speak to. Gabby, (lovely young lady) asks the problem, I tell her about the squirrel and she bursts out laughing. I'm unsure what I said that was so funny. When she catches her breath she says "It wasn't a squirrel, it was a small frog!" AHHHHH... bing, bing, bing... lightbulbs going off. Mom's message now made sense!!!
The question of how a tree frog got into the apartment is yet unsolved but apparently this green guest had been in the apartment for a few weeks, living on the water in the plants, and my parents have been trying to catch it. So now, we can all rest that the frog is no more an issue. And mom has not lost it totally. And dad has obviously lost some more vocabulary. Which is sad. But not unexpected. He has to stop leaning over to do things because he cannot stay balanced. That's something we need to work on.
So, mom/dad, squirrel/frog. A bedtime story for adult caregivers! The End.
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