Time-Outs For Everyone!

There are days when I’m convinced I’m living with two children, namely my mom and my husband.  For some reason Mom has become somewhat OCD about making sure all the doors and windows are locked up tight night and day.  Bill and I always make sure that, whenever we leave the house to run errands, everything is locked so that when we say “we’re running errands” and she inevitably asks, “is everything locked up,” we can honestly answer” yes.”  Then, once we’re gone, she totters around checking all the locks anyway.  We know this because we’ve staked out the house and watched her, partly because we want to make sure she doesn’t fall down and partly because it’s driving Bill nuts.  And what’s really fueling his lunacy is that she does it even when we’re home.

For example, every night when she comes into the Arizona Room to say good night to us, she always, ALWAYS asks if the patio door is locked.  And we always, ALWAYS tell her the same thing, which is yes.  Then she totters over to the door and jiggles the lock to make sure we’re not lying.  It’s really making Bill crazy.

I know I talked about this phenomenon in Sun City Lock Down, but this goes beyond the typical cautions that I’ve observed with our neighbors and is verging on paranoia.  And did I mention that it’s driving Bill crazy. 

So now, to help retain his sanity, Bill is reverting to childish behavior and that has resulted in the two-child household I now find myself living in.  For example, it can be the middle of the morning and Bill and I are watching something riveting on TV, like Sponge Bob, and Mom will wander into the Arizona Room and lock the patio door.  As soon as she leaves, Bill jumps up and unlocks it.  Then, when Mom goes into the kitchen at lunch time for her Slim Fast and rice cakes, she make a side trip into the Arizona Room and locks the door.  This will prompt Bill to stop whatever it is he’s doing, no matter where he is in the house, and tip-toe into the Arizona Room and unlock the door.  Then there’s Mom’s pre-nap lock check, followed quickly by Bill’s unlocking ritual, Mom’s post-nap lockup, Bill’s unlocking, Mom pre-dinner… well, you get the picture.  And once the weather starts to cool in late October and November to the 70’s during the day and the 50’s at night, it will get even crazier because Bill likes to leave the windows opened to let in the wonderful Arizona winter breezes.  And, since it’s more difficult for Mom to slide the windows closed through the  wooden blinds, she’ll constantly be calling for me to shut the windows.

I’ve tried to reassure Mom.  I’ve tried to reason with Bill.  I’ve yelled at both of them and even attempted to give them each time outs.  And, no, that didn’t work out real well.  At this point, I’m ignoring them both.  I figure all this up and down and traipsing through the house to go in and out of the Arizona Room is the only exercise either one of them gets.

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