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My Father Gave Birth To a Cow … No Updates Today


We drove to Western Washington last night to join Rob and Diana Stafford for dinner and then spend the next few days with my parents.

The Staffords took us to a new South American place in Spanaway that was excellent! By the time we finished and drove to my parents it was 9:30pm. Ann and I walked into the house to find my father was still awake. That was the first sign of trouble! Dad is usually in bed by 9pm and he’s a man of habit.

It turned out, Dad was very upset. No, upset doesn’t quite describe it. He was having a cow. Yes, a cow. I’m pretty sure I heard mooing!

You see, his watch, of the Timexy big-hand little-hand second-hand type, was running slow, too slow for his liking. And by God, if someone didn’t repair his watch then he was ‘ordering’ someone, anyone, to the store to get him a new one!! #myFatherHasLostHisFreakingMind #letsGetOuttaHere

You’d think he’d like a slower watch at age 84, as he could drag out his time on planet earth. But, no, his watch was too slow and he needed a new battery installed; mom had gotten the new one, she just couldn’t get it installed. This meant my mother was taking TOO long to replace the battery, by my father’s measure.

Of course, his attitude was just adding the frustrations felt by my mother over not being able to install the battery. I’m pretty sure she was ready to make a slow watch the least of his worries; he might no longer need a watch!

To calm the situation (after a big sigh from yours truly) I agreed to cast my readers aside for the evening in favor of bridging the divide between a man-who-needs-a-working-watch-to-go-to-bed and the woman-who-might-END-the-man-who-needs-a-working-watch-to-go-to-bed!

So, alas, there won’t be on post today. That’s the bad news.

The good news is I eventually fixed the watch and Dad shuffled off too bed as if nothing had happened ….

I have concluded that I picked a bad week to give up booze and hard drugs!!


17 Comments on “My Father Gave Birth To a Cow … No Updates Today

  1. Dave from Mn

    The old could be better or could be worse situation. My dad turn 82 yesterday. Been in nursing home since the summer of 2014. But I know what you mean, some times older guys get cranky about what seems like trivial stuff.

  2. gmwillys

    It is one of the toughest things to handle, having a loved one with dimension, Alzheimer’s, or have suffered a stroke. It’s the close family suffers the most. Everything and anything that had ever bothered the person throughout their lives, all comes out when the filter is removed.

  3. CraigInPA

    Maybe it’s time to introduce him to a watch that has no numbers or moving hands, one that always just says “Now”.

  4. Ranger Bob in Colorado

    I agree with Terry. I have a automatic watch. No worries about batteries. It is easier to set the time too.

  5. David Eilers Post author

    Humor helps me deal with the situation, hence the post. Because of his stroke, appealing to Dad’s rational, logical side is not always possible. He didn’t really want a new watch, as it would have likely confused him. He just wanted HIS watch fixed. Monitoring time remains one of the few things he can do, so it’s VERY important to him and no amount of logic can challenge it.

    Another example of his brain not quite working right … A few years ago I was going to take my kids and their cousins (5 total) down to my sisters (1 hour away) in Dad’s Dodge 1 ton truck. All the kids were in their mid-teens or younger, so not much weight there. It has two bench seats and six seat belts, so there was no safety issue. But, Dad got all flustered by the thought of using his truck, as he was certain that together we were too much weight for his truck. Of course, this 24 valve Cummins powered Dodge crew cab was more than cable of carrying 5 kids and one adult with nothing in the bed, but Dad would not be persuaded.

    Fortunately, most days Dad’s in good spirits.

  6. Bob

    Your parents sound remarkably like my parents. They will both be 88 next month. My mom has dementia, not Alzheimer’s, but the results are the same. My dad will freak about things and they must be done “right now.” We drop everything and do it. Three years ago one night it was “gotta clean my mini van, I’m trading it in tomorrow.” We spent the entire evening vacuuming, scrubbing, etc. so he could trade it in. He still has the van. So you learn to just make them happy and comfortable and thank god you still have them around.

  7. Blaine

    I bought a Timex self winding watch (automatic?) about 42 years ago for $23 at Montgomery Wards. A couple years later it died and I bought new works for it which cost about $12 and it still worked about a year ago when I pulled it out of my desk to look at it. I haven’t worn it for the past 35 years. They don’t wear out that way. I had a girlfriend/wife with me back then when I was out and about whom wore a watch so why did I need to wear one too? Oh yeah… I have the wide leather watch band too.

  8. Allan Knepper

    Dave……as usual ewillys comes thru again and is making my morning coffee break the high point of my day. I can TOTALLY relate to your situation. One of my tasks today is finalizing the planning of our mother’s 100th birthday party in March. We are very blessed to still have her in our lives, but it takes real work on the part of everyone in the family.

    Before Christmas, she gave me a ziplock bag with three really old watches in it “none of these work…..I need them fixed” !!. The answer from a gearhead like most of us ……”I can do that, they need are new batteries”. Long story short……I got the back off two of the watches….got batteries to work in one. My wife watching me with a magnifying glass on the kitchen counter ” there is a guy at the mall who puts new batteries”. I did what we men never do…..I gave up.

    Five dollars per watch …….using batteries I already had bought……all three watches keep perfect time !!!……and my wife had an excuse to go to the mall. Life is good.

  9. gmwillys

    One needs to find some humor in a situation like this. If not, then the sadness takes over. When someone that you have looked up to all of your life, and could do anything no longer can, it takes a toll on you.

  10. dave t in ct

    Dave – your a good man for looking after your parents – enjoy your time with them ! ! and don’t worry about E-Willys – we will all be here when you have time

  11. Dave

    Well written Dave. Thanks for sharing. As stated, we’ll be here. Family first….always. Been through the elderly parents deal. It was tough on us and, indeed, making light of it and indulging their behavior was the best way through it for us. Sometimes you just have to laugh and play along. If I may offer this….spend all the time you can with them now. I would give anything to have a few more days with my mother and father while they were still in relatively good health and lucid. Best luck.

  12. Mike

    Dave, Your dad is a top Priority, and you made the JUST & RIGHT decision to take care of his needs. Make the most of the time you have left with him, there will be a time in the future when you will look back at these senior moments fondly.

  13. Colin Peabody

    I have been through this with my father who suffered from Alzheimer’s. Best to not disagree with him or question what he is saying. He was 88 when he passed in 2003. Miss him every day.

  14. David Eilers Post author

    Thanks for all the notes.

    I do enjoy poking fun at Dad with some of these posts, partly because Mom reads them and gets a kick out of them and partly because many of you have been where I am. All-in-all, Dad’s generally amiable and easy going and we are fortunate to still have him and mom alive and lucid and still at the same house where I was raised (they’ve been there 53 years). Dad’s 84 and mom’s still 39 (though she’s been that age for several decades now … I no longer think she is accurately disclosing her age).

    – Dave

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