This is the last of a four-part saga. If you missed parts one and two and three, you might want to back up and start from the beginning. (Click here to read part 1 , here to read part 2 and here to read part 3.)
While Mom played tag with her eggs and apples, Dad was having his own little breakfast adventure. His use of utensils has become a little unorthodox over the past couple of years, especially since his right hand is a little numb from a stroke, but he gets the job done. He got through his eggs, sausage, and apples without incident, but his approach was unusual. After the first few bites of his meal, he pulled the saucer of pancakes closer to him and scooped up a good-sized bite of the ball of butter that was melting on top. Oh, yuck! I thought as I watched him pop the greasy mass into his mouth, but if he shared my feelings, he didn’t show it. He continued to eat without missing a beat. Then he started breaking off bite-sized pieces of pancake with his fingers, using them to push the slippery eggs onto his fork and to sop up the egg yolk from his plate. When the eggs, sausage, and apples were gone, he still had a pancake and a half left on his saucer. He pinched off another bite and stared at the plate with a kind of blank stare while he chewed. It was time for me to intervene.
“Here, let me make those a little easier to eat,” I said, and I proceeded to slice and dice them like I did Mom’s. He didn’t object like he does sometimes when I offer to help. Maybe the struggle with the eggs had worn him out.
There was one more decision to make. What kind of pie did we want? I narrowed the choices to a workable number, and we ended up with apple, cherry, and French silk – to go, please. Then there was one more challenge – the check. Dad likes to treat, and I like to be treated, but he doesn’t tip. If I carried cash, it would be easy to leave a few bucks on the table, but I’m a plastic kind of gal, so as he struggled to get his credit card out of his wallet, I plotted. He laid his card on the table while he put his wallet back in his pocket, and I picked it up. I preceded him to the register, and the deed was done before he arrived.
“Dad, do you want me to sign the credit card receipt, or do you want to do it?” I said.
“You can do it,” he said. Challenge met and waitress tipped!!
I got everybody back into the car and buckled in, and we headed for home. As I pulled into the driveway, Mom said, “Is this where we get out?”
I slapped that sarcastic little gremlin one more time and said, “Yes, this is home.”
She got out of the car and made it up the walk and through the door. “Do you want us to go sit down?”
“Yes. Why don’t you go on back to your living room. The air conditioner is on, and it’s warmer back there.”
“Our living room?” she said in confusion.
“Yes, right back through there and to the left.”
She went left and continued going left, u-turning into the kitchen.
“Mom, back that way, through that door.”
“No. That’s the door to the lanai.” I took her by the shoulders and gently turned her toward the correct room. “Right in there. Go on over and sit down on the couch, and I’ll turn on the TV.”
Now they’ve had their blood work done and are settled on the couch, watching afternoon soaps. They’ve had a nice meal which they probably don’t remember, and I’m exhausted. Next time I think I’ll have the 3-martini breakfast.