Why do I need new pajamas????

That was the question my mom asked at least 15 times on the way to our shopping trip!! When I was told that she needed new pj’s,  I decided to take her with me so she could help in the selection process. I called the group home when I was on the way so my mom would be ready. They put warm clothes on her, but while they weren’t looking, she went into her closet to change clothes. She was half dressed when I got there. I asked why she was changing into different clothes. She said “the person who picked this out, wanted me to wear this instead”. She smiled. I asked, “you mean YOU wanted to wear something different?” She said “I don’t think it was me, someone else picked this out.”…. “OK”, I said “you win”.  She smiled again. We headed for the door and she asked “do we really have to go out?” I shared that we were going to go shopping, something we hadn’t done in a long time. “I don’t have money” she said. I assured her that all was well because I had money, and that we’d have fun. “I don’t like going out, but OK, let’s go spend your money, and fun is good”…. Good one mom!!

When we got in the car, the repetition started. At least 20 times in ten minutes, she asked “where are we going?” and “why do I need new pajamas?” I answered her questions each and every time. I know how many times she asked because I recorded 10 minutes of our car conversation. 

There were some strikingly good moments during our conversation. She asked me if she had a job. When I said no, she asked how she paid her rent. I shared that her rent was paid by her retirement check. I was very surprised when she asked how much her retirement check was. She was excited when I gave her the amount, because she thinks it’s a lot of money. She told me that she wants to pay for all of her own stuff and she’d pay me back for the pajamas. She said if she ever came up short with her rent, to let her know and she’d get a job so she could pay her own way. Fabulous!!

When we got to the KMart, she declared that it was her new favorite store. But that only lasted until she saw the prices for the two piece pajama sets of $24.99. She asked if there was a cheaper place we could go. I assured her that $24.99 was a great price for what she was getting! She finally agreed!!

She seemed to enjoy the  bright colors of all the items in the store, but she did yell out twice “I don’t know what I’m doing”, I think because the large amount of merchandise in the store overwhelmed her at times. I would calm her anxiety by pointing to an item and asking her what she thought of it. I was so impressed with the amount of thought she put into her answers. At one point, I tried to convince her to also get a sweater by telling her it was cold outside. I held one up and said, “what do you think of this one?”. Very quickly she said “it’s cute, but I’m too old to look cute.” Really??? Lord have mercy!!! I hid the sweater in our cart and purchased it anyway.

When we got in the line she said at least 15 times, “I don’t know WHY I need new pajamas AND who’s going to pay for this??? I don’t have any money.” We definitely entertained everyone in the line. People smiled at us and one woman squeezed my hand in support. When it was our turn, my mom pointed at me and announced to the cashier, “I don’t have any money, my daughter is paying.” The cashier replied “she’s a great daughter, I wish she was mine.” With NO hesitation, my mom said “Nope, she’s mine and I don’t want to share her with you.” OK, time for us to go now, I thought…… the cashier laughed and said she understood why my mom wouldn’t want to share me.

Back at the group home, I learned something I would never have thought of. Angelina, the primary caregiver had my mom hang up the sweater and pajamas in her closet by herself. The reason for that was so my mom could hopefully connect with the items as being hers and NOT try to throw them away, which happens a lot with dementia patients. After she hung up all the items, my mom was asked to pick out her pajamas she wanted to wear that night. She actually picked out one of the pairs we had purchased, as opposed to saying her usual “that’s not mine!!”. I was amazed that this technique worked, and very pleased as well. 


All in all, it was a great trip out of the house. She remembered who I was, selected her own items to purchase, had a great time with me and even demonstrated her quick wit and humor!!! I’m so glad I recorded “10 Minutes with Mom” because it was absolutely priceless!! I’ll save it, because the next time I need I lift, I can always play it back!!  Love you mom! 



4 thoughts on “Why do I need new pajamas????

  1. This outing was priceless!! You and your Mom are fabulous together and I just love hearing about your outings. They are usually pretty entertaining. I am so glad that she remembered you, that you are her daughter and it was wonderful that she doesn’t want to share you!! Best of all is your 10 minute recording! Oh how I wish I had something like that Ret! But I am glad you do and you will have something when you are down and need your spirits lifted. ❤ Love you!

  2. LOVE…LOVE…LOVE IT!!!!!! She’s mine and I’m not sharing her with you!!! HA!! I’m SO glad you had a great day!!!!!! You are collecting a life’s worh of gems and it is SO awesome!!! YAAAY!!

  3. I’m with Kris. For much of my life, I eschewed taking photographs and making recordings, preferring to rely on the remembrance of memory. However, and I suppose this is no surprise, as I age (and particularly with a mother who is afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, leading me to be mindful [pun intended] of my genetic code and perhaps predisposition to the lessening of my mental acuity), I do favor employing all the external aids to memory. So, my dear sister Loretta, hold onto that recording. When a time comes when you and your mom no longer can converse, your listening to that 10-minute moment of exuberant, though repeated sharing between the two of you may lift your spirits. Love

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