Monday, January 2, 2012

Old People

They all do it, and it can happen anytime of the day or night. Older folks are the biggest offenders of this crime, but they just can't help it.  My father was notorious for doing it after a holiday meal and I'd catch my father-in-law doing it when I'd walk into his home for a visit.  It always happened to my husband at my parents house and now my mother has earned her stripes at 92 and she has given into falling asleep in her chair, anytime of the day or night.

This is a passage old people have earned and rightly so.

When my goddaughter, Jenna, was little (about 22 years ago) she spend a lot of time with my husband and I.  At times, both Mike and I needed a break from playing.  In order for the two of us to catch our breath, we needed Jenna to sit quietly for a bit of time, so my husband invented a wonderful game called "Old People".  This game is where you sit very quietly in a chair or on the couch and make pretend you are sleeping while sitting up, just like old people do.  Old People has been played with our boys and is still played to this day with small children who visit our home.

Last night, our friends, along with their 3 children, came to our house for a New Year's dinner.  Their youngest, Haley, is 5 years old and sometimes gets a little impatient when the older boys don't play with her.  As usual, when the boys finished dinner, they all headed back into the playroom to play Xbox.  When Haley saw they had left the table she ran in to join them.  She soon returned with a very dejected look on her face and said to me, "Miss Barb, Patrick won't play with me."  I asked her if she had asked him why and her reply was, "Because he said he was waiting for Austin to finish a game so he could play." It's very hard to pull teenagers away from the crackbox, especially when your 5.

That's when my husband stepped in and asked Haley if she wanted to play old people.  She looked at him a bit strange but when he told her she could earn 50 cents, she was all in and ready to play.  Mike told her all she had to do was sit quietly on the couch and make pretend she was asleep, just like an old person. Just as Mike was telling her, my son Patrick walked in, and he joined in on the fun.  Both Mike and Patrick showed Haley what to do.  She soon got the hang of it and was ready to start.

Mike thought 5 minutes would be a good time frame for her age. Haley did a fabulous job and pocketed 50 cents. As the night went on, we all migrated into the playroom to watch (and participate) in a game of Wipeout on the Xbox Kinect.  We could see Haley starting to tire, so she went over to Mike and asked if she could play Old People again. Mike told her that was a great idea and she could now turn her 50 cents into a $1.00 for a record time of 10 minutes.  She was good to go and once again, she did a fantastic job.  After that, she decided to play Old People all by herself with no money at stake.

It just goes to show, you need not get impatient with little ones when they become bored, tired or unmanageable due to unforeseen circumstances.  Be creative and enroll them into something they can be good at, no matter where they may be.  Old People can be played anywhere.  Try it at home, in the doctor's office, your favorite restaurant, the nursing home, at a funeral or wake or even in the car after numerous times of asking "Are we there yet?"

It's endless entertainment and enjoyment for adults as well, especially when your better half is getting on your nerves!!

1 comment:

rdh said...

When I was on kindergarten in Hartford, we took naps in the afternoon and the teacher said we had to be quiet like Ragged Ann & Andy.


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