May 21, 2010

Am I Hearing Now?

Hadley has fallen into a new routine these last few months where she brings her hearing aids downstairs in the morning to put them in.  She has her own system of checking them every day, a process that usually takes a minute or two.  Lately, she's been the first of the kids to wake up and she's used this time to chat with me.  Hadley is a great lip reader (self-taught; we never focused on developing this as a specific skill), and we can have a conversation surprisingly easily while her hearing aids are still out...if she is looking at me.  The problem is that she'll look down to focus on her hearing aid while I'm answering her question.  Then she'll become annoyed, thinking I ignored her.  It goes something like this:

Hadley: (all sunshine) Good morning, Mom!
Kerry: (equally sunny) Hi, Hadley!
H: So, what's the weather going to be like? (drops head to open kitchen drawer with hearing aid supplies)
K: Warm, you can wear shorts today.
H: (looks up) Mom, I said, "So what's the weather going to be like today?"
K: Warm, you can wear shorts today.
H: (sunny again) Yay!  Should I wear my pink shorts, purple shorts, or a skort? (looks back down)
K: You have gym today, wear shorts.
H: (looks up with great aggravation) Mom, aren't you going to tell me if I should wear shorts or a skort?
K: Shorts, you have gym today.
H: (with great hope) Is it warm enough to wear a tank top? (looks to side while she inserts first aid)
K: As long as you wear a sweatshirt to school.
H: (mild angst, still fiddling with aid) Mom, what do you think?  Tank top? I asked you a question!
K: (breathes deeply, counts to 10) Sure, as long as you wear a sweatshirt.
H: (one aid now on, inserting second aid)  Oh. Were you talking to me the whole time?
K: Yes.
H: Am I hearing now? (realization dawns)  Oh, yes, I am!

Of all the questions we initially had about Hadley's future, I never quite imagined a scenario where she'd be so involved in communicating orally that she'd forget whether or not she was hearing...or that I'd someday hold her accountable for her tone of voice when she couldn't even hear it herself!

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