Not anything

I was struck today by a change I saw in Mom. This happened at dinner time. Before I tell you what the change is, let me describe what Mom was like a year ago.

I would ask, “What would you like to eat?”. There would be a short pause, and I could see her expression as she struggled to think about it. In the end, the usual answer came, “Anything. Anything will do.”

It got to the point I would automatically give her two or three choices, just to avoid hearing “Anything”. With the choices, she would choose one or the other, almost at random. It seemed she could barely remember the two or three choices, and would grasp at one, and choose that.

After a while, I stopped asking, and decided for her instead. Let’s eat this, or that. Mom would be quick to agree.

Today, however, there was a change. A big change.

I brought her to a food court and asked her what she would like to eat.

She paused to think, and looked around. As usual, I prompted. “Rice of Noodle?” Noodle, she replied without hesitation, and she told me which type – beehoon, or rice vermicelli. I looked over the stalls that were open and told her there’s no beehoon here today.

“In that case, rice,” she volunteered. She answered quickly when I told her the types of rice dishes available, and she mostly said No, firmly. In the end, I took her to the variety rice stall, and let her pick out her dishes. She chose one vegetable confidently, and agreed after consideration when I suggested another two.

You might not think it much, but I find it a huge improvement from “Anything!” She did not say “anything” a single time while we were deciding on dinner.

We must be doing something right 🙂



11 thoughts on “Not anything”

    1. That’s true. There’re pictures above all the stalls, and Mom looked and looked. In the past though, she would give up easily, and go with “anything” even if there were pictures.


  1. This is so familiar. My mother no longer makes choices abouit what she is given to eat, but for a long time the question provoked anxiety, and often she would just say she wasn’t hungry.
    Smell is important to her. I rub lavender hand cream onto my hands and then onto hers. She continues, rubbing the craem into her hands, and the, almost invariably, raises her fingers to her nose and smiles.


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