Full of Blarney! That’s my mom.

Yea, I said, ‘blarney, not to be confused with Barney, the purple dinosaur. She’s still got that sparkle in her eyes.

I look at my mom and think of everything she’s been through, but she still has that quality, which she’s seemed to pass down’ self-effacing humor. Nothing seems to bother her and she’ll do anything for the sake of a laugh. I love this about her.

At times she is so stubborn, I can barely handle it, and then I find myself laughing with her over the silliest things. She will go right along with my humor, since, between her and my father, I inherited this.

It was passed down to my son as well. I have to tell him that his humor is very sick, at times.. I can only predict it will become more so, as he ages and endures hardship.

Since my mom doesn’t do much, but watch tv, I find myself critiquing the commercials and programs, with her throwing in her own quips.

For example, there’s an ad for an Injury Attorney. These girls say, “You can tell Robert anything. If you have an accident, Call Robert.” This continues for quite a while, and at the end they sing, a horrible jingle, “You can tell Robert anything!” It’s so funny. When my mom starts complaining, I say, “Tell Robert!” At this she cracks up. My son came into the room and said, “I’m calling Robert to tell him, my colon is inflamed!” I said, “Go ahead, “You can tell Robert anything!”

I get a visual of some poor secretary answering, Robert’s phone. And explaining that this is an attorney’s office. “Yes, but I need someone to talk to and your ad states, “That I can tell Robert anything.”

My mom is still talking about her visit to my home. “I don’t live here!” She insists. “I’m from Wisconsin!” Ok, she’s on a 2 year visit. Her mail comes here and all her doctor’s, etc. Anyone who lives with an aging parent, probably deals with this.

I wonder who she would have to sit and joke about all the shows, if I wasn’t with her. My son’s relationship to her alone, is more than she’s had in the past. People may have come and gone from her home, but she never had this social interaction.

When I hear her blabbing away to my brother, with special needs, I really laugh. I sent him on a trip for a few day, and she was so excited when he returned. She has a buddy who is always present. Yet, I am amazed at their conversation. At times they are discussing two different things, and neither one seems to notice. They’ve gotten into arguments about things and that makes me laugh even more. My brother is pretty mild-mannered, but my mom can even annoy him!

Of course, he loves living here, so when she goes into her tirade about leaving, he tells her, “Go back to Wisconsin!” He will make a motion circling his head, and she “is crazy, dumb.” This is something he must have learned where he grew up. But my mom loves an argument, so this doesn’t phase her.

Once, his bus came to late,for his liking and my son came running in. “Mom! Kevin’s shaking his fist at the bus driver. He’s swearing at her and he gave her the finger!” “What?!” Oh no, I have to run out to do damage control. The woman just finished saying, “What did you say?” I had to gently remind her that he’s mentally challenged and accustomed to routine. He has a problem with change and is not violent. Yet, I had to laugh, because it’s difficult for most people to understand him, except with profanities, and hand motions are pretty much, universal.

What is strange is that, when he lost his hearing, he didn’t want to learn signing, since he loves using sign language for cursing.

This is where I can see that my mom’s temperament was passed to him, regardless of whether, she raised him.

My son’s idea of placing a camera in the room to tape their interactions is very tempting. He tattles on her when she’s sneaking junk food from her little stash. He watches her as she picks her skin,(which seems to be a nervous habit) She gets up to walk, she hunches over, and he will point to her and say, “Mom can’t walk.” At this she gets angry. “Of course I can walk!” She says.

But when I had left on my trips a few times, she had taken the wrong medicine. I had to tell my daughter and son to take out only the medicine for this particular day. My daughter told me she had been standing on her toes, trying to find the rest in the cupboard.”Grandma, you already took your medicine,” she told her. “Oh, I just wanted to see where your mom put it.” She told my daughter. “She treats me like I’m a little kid!”

Well, I figured out early, that this is her thing.As we all need to feel important, she had this little responsibility, and it is tied to her feelings of independence. I didn’t want to take this away, but she didn’t understand the dangers of ‘double-dosing.’ So I was talking to my son. “Hey, you know how grandma loves to take her medicine. As much as she loves her junk. We should put a fake pill container out, with candy in it! One to match each pill. She’d love it. Like jelly beans, boston baked beans. Those little chewy caramels, for the Chewy vitamin.” “Yea,” he said, we could get a Fruit Rollup, for her patch!” We started cracking up at this. Just thinking of her trying to stick that to herself. And then figuring out that it’s a snack.

But she’s so funny that she’d laugh at this too. That’s the part I love. As I shared it with her later, she just laughed and laughed.

So when I tell her I want to get pictures for the family, she’s always anxious. No matter how silly. She loves it! My kids said, “Grandma looks like a cross between, George Washington and Paul McCartney.” I tell my mom this, and she thinks this is hilarious. So I went out shopping, and finds a picture of George on the cover of Time magazine. “Hey mom, hold this, I’m going to take your picture.” She willingly does it as she’s laughing at the thought. We send it to my son.

Then Paul McCartney is on some show, and I said, “Hey mom! Look, it’s you!” And he did look like he was wearing lipstick, so not sure if she looks like a man, or he looks like a woman!

Then there was a Chicken Nugget which sold for $8000.00, because it looked like George Washington. Well, I took issue with this, since it clearly looked like my mom! And the funniest thing about that, is this is one of the commercials that annoy her. For some reason, she thinks McDonalds has no right to market chicken. “They should stick with hamburgers!” She says.

St Patty’s Day is no different. She states, “I’m not Irish!” I remind her that I am part Irish, and she doesn’t have to be, to have fun.So I place my green wig on her head, and she starts laughing. She loves this. I’ve seen it many times. A person transformed into a child again. I love to be part of the process and it’ a beautiful thing to watch. Living day to day with her, reminds me that childhood really is in the heart. And no amount of time or pain, will erase that.