Childlike Behavior

Among the subtle changes that have and are taking place with Kate are the various behaviors that I call “childlike.” These are so subtle that I doubt that anyone else would even notice if they occurred in their presence. One of those that I can’t describe is a look of detachment like the innocence of a child. These often occur when she gets some kind of soil on her clothing or spills something on a piece of furniture or the floor or loses an earring. It is as though it simply doesn’t matter or that she doesn’t realize how significant it can be. One of those involves some jade jewelry that she bought in New Zealand. I haven’t seen them since shortly after our return home. She wore one of the necklaces several times and then couldn’t find it. By now she has forgotten she has them. I suspect they are in her room somewhere but neither of us would know where.

Another example would be her “little game” of counting the number of people who are walking along the sidewalk or crossing the street. As we drive, I will hear her say, “One.” Then she will say, “Three.” She often counts the cars at an adult video store. Over the weekend, she said she was going to start counting the times we pass McDonald’s when there are no cars at the drive through. The first time I ever noticed anything like this was when she started announcing the price of gas at the various gas stations we passed. I think this came after some mention about my being observant. She made a deliberate effort to be more observant herself.

I have mentioned before that she gets more irritated with me than she has ever been in our married life. When she is irritated, however, she is not really nasty. She seems more like a little child.

Another thing I notice is that she delights in joking with me, something that she has never done before.

The downside of all this is that it occurs because of deterioration in her brain. The part of her brain that controls her actions is weakening, and she is allowing herself to express herself in ways that she didn’t use to do. I have mentioned before that she is less attentive to the way she dresses and the way her hair looks. She usually does not brush her hair before we go out. I do this for her, and she is appreciative not annoyed that I am taking over this aspect of her life. On the other hand, she is annoyed by my helping in other ways. She asked me over the weekend to let her respond to people before I do. She said this as a reaction to my answering emails or making phone calls to people who had contacted both of us. I have done this because she doesn’t feel the need to respond right away, and then she forgets about doing it at all.