You know how people always told you that as people age they return to childhood behavior? Well, I never doubted it, but I also never realized how far reaching this reality of aging was until I moved my dad in with me.
From reading (EVERY) random sign we pass on the road, to not picking up after himself, (to potty training… shhhh), to having to be entertained (and I refuse to “sit him in front of the TV”), to making him eat what’s on his plate.
About a month ago, I got tired of being told there was too much on his plate and gave in to feeding him like he wanted to eat (and not staying on him constantly about drinking ALL his water each day). About two weeks in he started getting light headed and even was losing some visual clarity.
So I explained to him that the result of doing things “his” way had left him beginning to experience the side effects of malnutrition and dehydration. After several minutes of back and forth, and showing him the scientific research that an adult his age, even living a sedentary lifestyle, still needed a minimum of 2,000 calories per day to just maintain, he agreed to eat what I put in front of him.
Twice since then, he’s complained about the amount of food on his plate, and twice since then, I’ve had to remind him of the calories conversation and the symptoms he experienced from his malnutrition and dehydration. So far, he stays in his seat and finishes his plate, but I don’t look forward to the time when I have to tell him he is not allowed to get up from the table until he finishes everything on his plate.