Childhood, or early-onset Dementia?

*Shhhh, shhhh, shhhh. Before I get started, please understand that I am by no means trying to make light of the terrible disease that is dementia. I understand how terrible both dementia and Alzheimer’s can be – we’ve experienced it with multiple family members. I’m just trying to make light of my life – basically what I do best. If you’re super-sensitive (or don’t have kids – or a sense of humor), just skip this post.

The Feldmanns are beginning 2017 with a bang. We just got back from a 2 1/2 week vacation in Longboat Key with family galore, and we are headed to enjoy a ridiculous amount of snow with my twin and his family later this week. (I know, I know – my life is super-hard).

In the meantime, we are beginning a renovation of our laundry room/pantry/mudroom/dining room. Today.

Have I mentioned that I try to only take on as much as I can reasonably handle?

Except the exact opposite of that.

The back half of our house will be basically inaccessible for the next 3 weeks or so, which includes the family lockers – where the girls always (*cough – should – cough*) put their backpacks, shoes, coats and other junk they’ve hoarded throughout the day. And the backdoor, which is the only door we ever use to enter and exit our house.  And our laundry room – and the pantry, where I keep all their snacks. Oh Lord, what the hell was I thinking…

But, I digress.

The point of this story is how my children are preparing for the construction. Those of you who know Paige well knows that she has a bit of *ahem* “difficulty” transitioning from one thing to another. Like, from getting out of the car and into piano lessons. Or out of the bath and into pajamas. Or from one spot on the couch to the other. You know, the really difficult transitions that plague only the most strenuous lives.

In light of the construction, our morning and afternoon routine will be drastically changed (well, drastically may be a strong word – unless you’re under the age of 10, I’d imagine). We will be parking in front of our house. We will be coming in and out of the front door.  Coats will be in the front closet. Backpacks and shoes will be in the art room. I mean, in my kids’ world, we are basically living in another planet. (Although, Derrick had to have me remind him three times yesterday where his car keys were – so perhaps the apples don’t fall far.)

I spent much of the weekend walking the girls through what our new morning and afternoon routines will look like. I moved their coats, backpacks, shoes, etc. to their new locations. During dinner, I talked all about what our morning would look like (especially since their dad would be out of town). This morning, as they were having breakfast, we talked through it all again.

Fast-forward to 7:30 am – time to pack up for school. I ask the girls to a) stop fist-fighting while they are trying to “help” each other make their beds (WTH?), and, b) to go downstairs to get their shoes, coats and backpacks. Both girls head downstairs … and immediately start panicking because they can’t find anything. Like, actually screaming as if their things had been stolen out from under our very noses.

Everything I had discussed IN BRUTAL DETAIL and MULTIPLE TIMES?

Gone from their minds.

When I looked at them like they were crazy people and yelled, “Guys! It’s all in the art room and the front closet! What the heck?!?! I JUST told you that!” They both started at me like they literally had never heard this before. Ever. Paige even went as far as to say, “Why would you put our stuff in the other room? That doesn’t even make any sense!”

Sometimes, I’m fairly certain that my voice is white noise to their little ears. Either that, or their little brains have already started deteriorating to the point where they have zero long- or short-term memories remaining (except for whose turn it is to play the Wii-U – THAT is always clear as a bell).

I mean, it is truly as if I had never even discussed what would be changing with them at all (can you imagine the energy I would have saved). We eventually cleared everything up, and headed out the door. I was pretty sure they understood now. Right.

As we are pulling into school, Blair catches my eye in the rearview mirror and asks, “So, when we come home after school, will our bedrooms be in different places?”

Yep.

This afternoon should be interesting. I may just drop them off at the Forum Memory Care Unit and tell them the construction is done. I bet they wouldn’t have any idea where to put their backpacks…

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