Me: Do you want me to come in there and help?
Richard: No! NO!!! No, I do not.
Me: No? Are you sure? I could....
Richard: It gets me all messed up if you come in here and start messing around in the kitchen when I am trying to cook dinner. You just stay out and leave me alone.
Me: OK! OK!!!
Well, I found this exchange hilarious. I guess its because I am still not used to this sudden switch in our roles in the house.
Richard walks around the house shaking his head.... I am becoming your father, he says.
My father began doing many of my mom's jobs in the years after he retired. Maybe because he didn't have enough to keep him busy, and then his knees deteriorated and he was no longer able to do the more physically demanding jobs outside. His ability to cook and clean and do the laundry has really helped during my mom's long convalescence from spinal surgery.
The difference is that Richard is not crippled by arthritic knees. There were subtle signs of the transformation when he took over doing the dishes about, oh, a year ago. Then in June he stepped up to the plate and began cooking, doing the laundry, and feeding the birds when I was stuck on the couch.