I have not regaled you with any Carlton stories for awhile but the truth is that since we no longer have the day to day contact with him like when we were living in Ohio taking care of him the stories are few and far between. Add to the fact that our sweet Carlton is aging and showing the signs of aging and the stories are stories of a different type.
The stories now are more stories that are centered around his changing behavior. Our once outgoing and talkative Carlton is now far more reclusive and temperamental. My sister in law has such a wonderful way of dealing with him and takes all the little quirks and eccentricities into stride. When he gets his “panties in a bunch” as she calls it she has a way of dealing with him that is calming and effective. She explains that there are “big problems” and “little problems” and that this one is definitely a little one. I love her. She has made his life so wonderful and we are so grateful to her for sharing her life, her family and her house with our sweet Carlton.
It is difficult to watch someone age and it is no different with Carlton. His aging is accelerated and he is reluctant to do a lot of the things that he once loved to do. It is difficult to see that change get more intense every time we visit but it is part of his life now. He still sneaks cookies. He still leaves notes all over the place. He still craves praise on how great he looks. Even though some of the parts of his personality are changing as he ages he is still that same Carlton Scott that we love.
Today when I was thinking about him I remembered a story that I posted a few years ago that was true Carlton. You might remember it but if not —enjoy.
Nutrition is important to everyone and I took it upon myself to help my brother in law eat a bit better. Years of fast food had invaded his life by necessity and his life revolved around mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders, french fries and lemonade. When we went out to eat no matter how massive the menu that was the choice. I discovered that if I put some of my food on his plate he would eat anything that I chose to share so it wasn’t that he did not like other foods—it was just his routine to order the same things.
When I moved in to help out I decided that his health was one of the most important things that I could focus on so I proceeded to cook healthy meals and offer alternatives to the junk food that he had become accustomed to eating. There was resistance—I can not say that he always raved about the vegetables but I usually was able to get him to at least take 2 green beans. I tried to prepare things that I knew he would like. Chicken was always a winner, of course, and I had to throw in the occasional hot dog wrapped in a crescent roll to make him appreciate the other stuff I cooked. We talked about eating right and I even put the food pyramid up on the refrigerator so he could be reminded of healthy choices.
We also had our weekly Wednesday night date night where we would go out to dinner–his pick—and then to the grocery store. I usually did the household shopping earlier in the week and this trip was to just get “his” stuff. I could memorize the list. Summer sausage, potato salad, Diet root beer, Oreos, toilet paper (whether we needed it or not), and orange juice or lemonade. One week I had made cookies during the week and so we had cookies at home. Carlton proceeded to put 2 packages of mint Oreos into the cart and I questioned whether he really needed those or not since I had already made cookies. He looked at me and said “you’re right.” He put them back but then his eyes darted to another shelf close by and he quickly put a package of peanut butter Oreos in the cart. I just looked at him and and he responded “well–these have protein and protein is good for me.” The cookies stayed in the cart. I could not argue with that logic