Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Falling in love all over again

Not quite as romantic as it sounds, since I don't mean THAT kind of love.

The agency for which I work has two new residents. They are sisters in their 40s who had been institutionalized for over 30 years. Now they've come to us. Before they moved in, all sorts of awful stories were going around about how difficult they were going to be to care for. Stories about how they would paint the walls with their excrement, scream, pull their hair, and throw temper tantrums. How they would throw their food, grab people by the hair, etc, etc, etc. When they asked me to fill in at the house they moved into for a few hours one night, I was NOT looking forward to it.

I was in for a big surprise. In fact, I enjoyed my time there so much I asked to be moved to that house 20 hours a week.

Mentally, the sisters are between about 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 years old. I cannot begin to tell you how much fun these two are. They're like wonderful little toddlers, but without the hyperactivity that usually accompanies toddler-hood. They give hugs, make kissy noises, repeat words, sing songs, and play "got your nose!"

There are a couple words that one says that I just get a huge kick out of. Cookie and chicken. Imagine Cookie Monster drawing out the word cookie - at twice his usual volume. CoooooookAAHHHHHHH! and CHEEEEEECKehhhhhnnnn! It's great. The other is ornery as all get out. She'll ask to take a bath, then refuse to get up...with a big old grin on her face. She cackles like a witch, too. When she finally does get up, she'll wait for me to start toward the bathroom, then take a leap onto the couch to sit down again. And again with the laughter. We'll play this game for 30 minutes or more. She's an absolute hoot! I was talking with a guy who works more hours at that house than I do, and he said he'd never even seen her smile before tonight. I just can't even imagine.

1 comment:

eatmisery said...

Who takes care of them? How did they get a house? I guess I'm confused about their living arrangements.