The Humor of Alzheimer’s: Extra Cookies

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My first experience having a role reversal and really immersing into young caregiving was a few years ago. This was the first time I felt like a parent to my mother; it was a little trippy. I realized that as this disease progressed, I would be the one to set boundaries, provide guidance, and protect my mom. As her caregiver, I would be using my mother’s intuition to take care of the person that taught it to me. This can be a hard pill to swallow, but what do they say about a spoonful of sugar. That is where the Alzheimer’s humor comes in.

A Trip To The Store

The plan was to have lunch with my grandma. Keeping things simple, we went to the local grocery store to order sandwiches from the deli, grab a big bag of chips, and maybe a small dessert. We walked into the store and navigated the process pretty well. When it came time for dessert, my mom realized that this store carried the cookies that tasted just like Thin Mints. We agreed that this would be a good dessert and any leftovers we could take home and surprise my dad.

Cookies On Sale

We find the cookie aisle, and right under the knock-off Thin Mints are the sale tags, “buy two for $5.” My mom doesn’t hesitate; she grabs two boxes. I tell her we don’t need two boxes of cookies; just get one.

“But they are on sale!” She clutches the two boxes of cookies like I am going to snatch them out of her hands. And then she spots a new flavor, knock-off Caramel Delights. She grabs the box. “Well, now I have three boxes; we need a fourth to get the sale a second time.” She reaches for the fourth box of cookies and grabs the fudge dipped grahams.

“Mom, you do not need four boxes of cookies!” “Put them back and just pick one.”

“Kristin don’t be a party pooper, it is only $10.”

“Mom, that is so much sugar, just get one box. If you really want two get two, but you do not need four boxes of cookies in the house. That is not good for you.” And there it is, the OH MY GOD! I sound exactly like my mother, moment.

As we continue to low key argue in the cookie aisle, I finally convince her that two boxes of cookies will suffice, but not without her calling me a “big meanie” first. She picks the mint cookies and the caramel coconut fudge cookies, and we head towards the cash register; as we go through the motions, my mind processes what just happened. The wave hits, our roles have reversed, and we will do so more and more. This will not be the last time that I will act as a mother to my mother. It will not be the last time that I sound like my mother. This is the beginning of a long caregiving journey. Let the role reversal begin.

Share Your Role Reversals

To my caregivers out there, I can’t be the only one this has happened to. Maybe your story doesn’t involve arguing in a cookie aisle, but I’m sure you have one. Share your story in the comments down below. Let me know your role reversals or Alzheimer’s humor experiences. I want to connect with you.

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