This afternoon, my Dad blew up at me. I’m starting to get used to it…he gets upset with me once or twice a day, usually because I’ve asked him to do something that he doesn’t want to do, say, for example, buckle his seatbelt. He was furious with me this afternoon and became very rude, yelling at me in the street. I was taking Mom to get her hair done at a beauty parlor and he wanted to come along but I knew that would be a disaster. Dad doesn’t wait.

(It was the right decision. The beauty parlor lady was running behind and then took twice as long because she needed to rant and rave over the current state of California politics.)

Dealing with Dad is a lot like dealing with an angry three-year-old. He lives completely in the present, so when he’s frustrated, he can’t hold it in. He just explodes.

When my kids were three-year-olds, I had a slight advantage. I was the MOM. Taller than the three-year-old. More stubborn. There’s no point in getting mad back at Dad; it only makes him madder and he really can’t help it.

Funny thing is that part of me went into autopilot as a parent. I wanted to say, “That’s it! You’re grounded!” except for the fact that he has no driver’s license and he’s already pretty well grounded on a full-time basis. So then, I thought (but didn’t say), “That does it! Pack up! You’re off to the nearest Alzheimer’s facility today, buddy!”

Instead, I handed Dad off to my husband (to whom my Dad is always polite and gracious, because, after all, he’s a man! Not, heaven forbid, another woman telling him what to do!) As Mom and I drove off, despite knowing that Dad’s stormburst was over, despite knowing that he has a disease that is affecting his mind and personality, it was hard to shake off. Because this is what Mom lives with.

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