Monday, April 19, 2010

The Parent Swap

As you may recall, Fran has gone to live with the new love of her life, Molly.
In February, Mike was asked to leave Assisted Living. I think the last straw was when Mike came down into the lobby area sans pants. Once again, it was time to move a parent.
When we added on the Frannex, my intention was to only have Fran live in our household. I had concerns about Mike living in the house with the boys.
My father's ideas about raising children are much different than mine. I tend to think of my children as distinct little satellites launched from my planet, acquiring resources, knowledge and skills in close orbit before they slingshot out of my gravity to go explore the universe. I believe Mike felt that his children were a reflection and extension of himself therefore he tried to control his children to ensure a positive reflection of him. We kids needed to be under Mike's control and command at all times, lest we veer from the party line, and knock holes in Mike's stage set of family life. Mike enforced his control in a variety of ways that would be considered "unhealthy" now, and I was worried that he would cause harm to the boys. When Mike was evicted from assisted living, I warily moved him into the Frannex, while we sorted out what to do. My brother and sister-in-law offered to take him on a permanent basis, but I felt that would be an extreme hardship for them since they both work outside the home. Having done the Fran care for a year, I know the amount of time and energy it takes to care for the demented parent. It's not like having a cute toddler that a friend or neighbor will watch while you go to your chiropractor. Mike is a high maintenance person, he needs one on-one-care, all his waking hours. He won't sit by himself and watch t.v., and if he finds himself alone, he will get up and look for his people. So I kept the boys apart from Mike and went out on the Memory Care tour.

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