Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Adventures in the Nursing Home

Last week I took my three little ones to play at our local nursing home.  That might sound like an odd place to take my little ones to "play" but I was hoping that if I brought some toys, my children would just be themselves, and their presence might share some joy with the residents.

I plan to go back a few times a month, and Howard and Caroline certainly acted like their usual silly selves, after a little time adjusting to the new environment.  Tracey was not very comfortable, but I think that will just take time.  She has been around very few adults of such health and age as the ones we saw.

First I want to remind you of my children -- this picture wasn't taken the day we went to the nursing home, but it was around the same time.  So, this is what my children looked like as I was getting the below questions:

I want to make sure I can remember some of the questions asked of me by residents and workers while we were there this first visit:

Are they siblings?
I'm not sure exactly what dynamic those who asked me this question were expecting... maybe I just looked WAY too young and rested to have three children, but this question surprised me, and I was asked it several times.  Yes, they are siblings -- I am the mother, and they are all my children.
Are they triplets?
There was a very sweet older lady there, who not only asked if they were triplets, she asked me if they were triplets three different times.  Then she would lean over to the woman sitting next to her and say, "Do you see those triplets?"  Several times I corrected her and by the end of the visit, I think she realized that two of them were twins, but couldn't understand why I brought three kids if only two were twins.
Why don't you take them to the park?  I really think they would enjoy the park.  Isn't there a park around here?  You should take them there.
This one resident felt very strongly that the place children should play was the park, and why in the world would I bring them to their nursing home when there are plenty of parks out there that are meant for children to play.
So, they're all girls?
When the woman who kept thinking I had triplets finally understood and could remember that I had twins, she then decided they must all be girls.  At that point, I didn't say much to correct her -- it was enough that she was keeping track that they were not triplets, I didn't want to confuse her more.  I hope Howard will forgive me.
Are they someone's grandchildren?
Maybe its my lack of sleep, but to this question, I stared dumbfounded for a moment before responding, "Yes, they are someone's grandchildren."  A moment later I realized that woman probably was wondering if they were someone's grandchildren AT THE NURSING HOME, which they are not, but that wasn't what she asked... and yes, they are someone's grandchildren.
I don't share these questions and my responses to in any way poke fun of the residents at the retirement home.  I just hope you take as much joy and humor out of the interaction as I did.

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