Such a treat
Bill came up to me during the morning feeding routine and said, ”I have mixed the feeds ready to go out now. Shall I take Chance’s?” He picked up the two feed bowls for the horses in one field and gave them to the greedy palomino and the old chestnut mare carefully respecting their eagerness to defend their own bowl. He talked calmly to them both and came back for their hay. I marvelled at how well he has picked up the routines to enable him to sort the feed bowls, add the water to mix them and be so aware of the dangers of feeding two horses together in the field. Initially, he needed to be prompted to turn the tap on even, and certainly wouldn’t have read the names on the feed bowls. He also would have been totally unaware of any danger and would have shouted and waved his arms at them if they came too close to him.
When preparing dinner for himself later the changes were noticeable there too. Without any prompting he was able to read the menu list we had prepared, and identified that he was making Spaghetti Bolognese. He then took out the onion, peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms and started chopping them. He had already put out the water to boil for the spaghetti. I watched him turn the gas on for the water and put a little oil in the other saucepan. Once all the vegetables were ready he put them in the pan to cook and got the cheese out ready to grate. The only time he asked for help was when checking if the spaghetti was ready and the sauce cooked, then to help him drain the spaghetti off. He even put the plates out ready to serve.
Not so long ago he wouldn’t have been able to count to four to put the correct number of plates out and was frightened of the gas hob to turn on and off. He certainly wouldn’t have judged how much spaghetti to put in the pan and needed help for chopping onions and peppers as he was too worried about using the sharp knife. Now it’s second place to him.
When the dinner was ready he called the girls in for their dinner, checked all the gas was properly switched off and carried on a proper conversation about how their day had gone for them. Such a change from all the casual grunts we used to get from him at the dinner table and the arguments which frequently ensued. Instead he asked them politely about the animals they had looked after and made really supportive comments to them. We then finished up with a yummy Lemon Meringue Pie which we had prepared earlier. That went down a treat.