Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sugar highs at the old folks home

We did something a little different for Halloween this year. I thought about TPing the neighbors...but it would have required too much effort. And their peacocks are attack peacocks. I swear they are. They would have run me off the property by using those nasty peacock beaks.

This year we went to the nursing home to start our trick-or-treating evening. Did you know the old folks get an absolute kick out of seeing all the little kids in costume? And I got all warm and fuzzy inside seeing the smiles on those wizened faces.

When I told Unruly where we were going she wasn't very happy about it at all. Even after I told her we were meeting some of our friends there she was still reluctant to go.

"Mom, old people scare me," she confided in a whisper. "I don't want to go."

"Why do they scare you?" I asked.

"I don't know. Because their skin doesn't fit right," she shared. "And sometimes they talk funny."

Okay, I can understand that. She isn't around very many senior citizens so is unfamiliar with aging. And aging CAN be scary.

As we walked through the nursing home, stopping at room doors, trick-or-treating the elderly, some in wheelchairs, some attached to beeping, blipping machines Unruly loosened up and really opened up to them. Some of the women were decked out in their Red Hat Ladies outfits and purple feather boas. Men wore Civil War costumes or dressed as pirates. There were witches and even a Raggedy Ann.

After I pointed out the pretty hats and costumes to Unruly and complimented the wearers, she soon took it upon herself to compliment and comment on every costume worn by a resident of the nursing home. I think she liked to see them smile when she sidled up close to a wheelchair and talked to them.

She is, by nature, a nurturer, and her nurturing spirit was vibrant Halloween night. She loves to make people feel good about themselves and isn't shy about saying what's on her mind. If she likes your shoes, she says so.

She wasn't scared any more. The old people were no longer a scary unknown. She learned something from the experience and I think it helped her grow and mature a little more.

"That wasn't bad at all, was it?" I asked as we left the nursing home, candy sack full of candy, pencils, little toys, puzzles and other odds and ends.

"They weren't as scary as I thought they were," she said. "I liked them a lot. They were nice. But why are they so small? And why is their skin so big?"

So I tried to explain aging and the human body to her. And made the unfortunate mistake of comparing skin to the elastic waistband of a pair of underwear.

"You know, when you have an old pair of panties and the waistband gets all stretched out and doesn't go back to where it's supposed to? That's what happens to your skin when you get old. It's gets all stretched out and saggy."

"Mom, that's just gross. You just said the old people are like underwear."

I guess I kind of did, didn't I?

Despite comparing the old folks to underwear, I think it was probably one of the best trick-or-treating experiences we've had.


Krista said...

hahahahahahha! I'm going to be laughing about that all day! Old people and underwear... good analogy though!
And BTW, I love Day of the Dead! Not so much Halloween.

Nancy @ World Wide Rolves said...

Gives a whole new meaning to 'granny panties' doesn't it?

What a great idea...I might have to borrow that next year!

MP said...

I think that is a great way to put it..I just took my 87 year old dad to the doctor who told him that he was in fine health for his age and that sometimes gravity does as much in our insides as on the outsides...That is why old people need to keep their feet up!

Kathy said...

what a wonderful thing to do on Halloween. cool!

lov grma said...

You sure had me laughting, So my old saggy face, is like old wore out under pants. Were to you come up with these ideas? I still think you could write a great book.

The Nursing home must have known you were coming? That was great idea. Good for the kids and good for all the old underpants.
It's also nice to go at Christmas time and sing Christmas songs for them.

bigrig said...

To paraphrase a quote from Garth (Dana Carvey) in the "Wayne's World" movie, regarding a new pair of underwear:
At first it's constrictive, but later on, it becomes a part of you. Could that somehow be applied to nursing-home residents?

nell said...

Hahaha! Great comparison! Sounds like you guys had a fun night, and that Unruly - what a little sweetheart!

Marriage-101 said...

Wow, what a wonderful thing to do!

I'll have to keep that in mind. In fact, I'm writing that idea down right now!

kristi said...

You crack me up!