December 21, 2019

Saturday. My first day of vacation and I’m behind on my cookie baking. So I tell mom, we’re spending the whole day baking. We’re not going anywhere, we’re only baking.
It was a beautiful day, sunny and unseasonably warm, so about two hours in I say I want to take the dog for a walk. She wants lunch. Lunch first, then walk. And she wants to go out.
So we go out. The car is low on gas so we stop to fill up. With a quick trip to the grocery store for a cookie ingredient I forgot. Then the bank. Then the candy store because the grocery store didn’t have what I needed. Then the dog shelter to drop off a donation we got at the grocery store. Then finally to the park to walk the dog. Then it’s dinner time and she wants to go out again. (I never pass up a chance to not cook.) Two hours of cookie making and eight hours of everything else under the sun and I’m exhausted. I’ve had enough of people, crowds, and traffic. I went to bed and hid in my room for three and a half hours until she went to bed. I couldn’t take it. I could not say one more word to a human being and could not hear one single word from a human being. I got up and made three more batches of cookie dough. We’ll bake tomorrow.
Ever bake with a child? That’s what it’s like baking with someone with dementia. She tries. She tries so hard. But everything is hard for her. I put her to work shifting and measuring flour. Then it was cutting parchment paper to fit cookie sheets. She said that was the hardest thing yet. She washed dishes. She can do that well enough.
Today she was forgetful as usual, but not as confused as she’d been recently. It was a good day but it wore me out.

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