Mom and the PJ Puzzler

fuzzyFor several months, I’ve been trying to get a second pair of PJs for my Mom. It’s been quite a challenge. The first roadblock was my Mom’s belief that she had more than one pair. I would ask her to show me and she couldn’t find them, so she would agree she needed a pair. By the time we got to the store, she adamantly insisted she had more than one pair.  There is no winning that argument.

My second attempt to accomplish this mission was to get my Mom to write “Pajamas” on her shopping list before we left her apartment. This is no short matter — first you will have to sit through the search for the second pair, then the acknowledgement that a second pair would be useful. I did this several times and for a while she insisted that she only needed one pair. Her lone pair is fuzzy winter pajama’s and as Spring arrived, she finally decided she needed some lighter-weight pajamas. However, we spent several trips where she was unable to find a pair that she liked. If they were the style she liked, the color was wrong. I kept trying. In the hopes of saving time on the search and list making — I kept a copy. However, my Mom would not accept the list “That’s old – of course I have more than one pair of PJs” and we would just start over each time.

I was very pleased with myself when she finally purchased a pair two months ago. When they didn’t show up in the laundry, I learned from the personal assistant that my Mom told her they were not her PJs. I was never able to find them.I had suggested she put her name inside because I knew this might be a problem. However, she had refused and wryly asked “I’m not going to camp am I?”

The new medications are helping and choices don’t seem so difficult these days. My Mom recently purchased a pair of PJs three weeks ago. I was curious if she was wearing them — or even had them. Today when I collected the laundry, she asked if I want the pajama’s. She thinks they are “too heavy.”

In reality, it would be ideal for her to have at two of the same PJs. Sometimes she will go two weeks before she will allow me to launder her clothes. If she has an accident, she’s still trying to hand-wash, but given her inability to remember, I would feel better if we could just provide her with an endless pile of clean PJs to pull from each night.

I’m going to just order a pair and see if I can find ones that she will accept and use. I have a feeling that I’m going to have a whole new pajama wardrobe of my own before summer ends. Perplexed.


11 thoughts on “Mom and the PJ Puzzler

  1. There must be something about pajamas. Unlike your mother, my mom wouldn’t believe that she had any so every time we went out, we had to buy pajamas. I found it easier just to make her happy and let her buy as many as she wanted as opposed to risking confrontation over something that she couldn’t “see” even when it had just been right in front of her a short while before. Also, in the grand scheme of things her obsession with pajamas was the least harmless of her issues, though after she died I wound up with almost three dozen sets, many of them unworn. I never had the heart to return them so I tried wearing them myself but it was too depressing. A few years ago I was finally able to let go and donated all them to Goodwill save for a pink flannel set with sock monkeys that she loved and cherished. Even now I cannot pass a pajama display that I do not think of my mom.

  2. I agree there is something about pajamas and mothers. My mother wore a flannel nightshirt with musical instruments given to my father by his grandson for years. After my father passed she moved to an Assisted Living Complex in town. She loved telling people she was sleeping with the band when they saw her in this long nightshirt. She insisted I sew any rips so she could continue to wear it up until her death. It was her signature pajamas.

    I think your idea of buying 2 of the same pjs once you get a go ahead from Mom is a good idea. You might consider giving her slightly used pjs of yours if they fit her. A bit worn may make her think they are hers and more wearable. Especially if you put her name inside. Good luck!

  3. Jeanne – Thanks so much for sharing! I know it is small in the grand scheme of things, but the PJ issues seem to be pervasive. some with too few and apparently others with too many!

    1. I love the gift idea … and we used that initially. She stopped being able to recall it was a gift or she would angrily challenge the gift. However, now that she’s on the new medications — maybe it will stick — and I should again retry it. Thank you.

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