Monday, April 09, 2007

Cute Deaf Baby Update

This weekend was our first long car trip with Kailey: 6 hours from Spokane to Portland. It wasn't something I was looking forward to, but the chance to see both sides of my family was too good to pass up, so we bit the bullet.

And the baby did just fine! We only had to stop once on the way down and twice on the way back, when I was figuring on stopping about 5 times. What I think she liked the most was the undivided attention from Mrs. Thinker, who sat in the back with her the whole trip to make sure she didn't take out her hearing aide.

The hearing aide is a pain in the ass. Back when she didn't have any coordination she would have to work pretty hard to get her hand up there to take it off, but we now know that she has no fine motor problems because she can get her hand up there to take it off faster than you can blink. She mainly does it when she's getting tired, but she also knows if she takes it off both mom and dad are going to come running, and that's high entertainment for a 7 month old. Imagine me half-shaven in my briefs vigorously signing "No! No!" at a smiling, cooing baby and you'll have this morning's tableu.

She also figured out how to turn it off, which is a whole new level of fun. We just found that out a couple of days ago, when I noticed that the aide was being unusually quiet with no feedback, and when I checked was off. "Hmm!" I hmmed, "How odd! It must have gotten turned off when she rolled over!" Later, though, I watched from the side as she reached up and flipped it off with her thumb, then took her hand away. She's a fan of silence, I guess.

I know I'm not the first to comment on parenting being a new adventure every day, but man it's true. Her sleeping and her bowel movements are important topics of conversation, along with any new sounds she might have made so we can make a full report to her teacher at the school for the deaf. You don't dare get in the car and drive without triple-checking to make sure you have her food, her chair, her bed, her toys, diapers, formula, made bottles, ready to be made bottles, and the 1000 other pieces of bric-a-brac that go along with being a dad.

Friends don't quite know how to handle her deafness yet. I'll make a crack about her being "handi-capable!" and they'll just sort of stare, trying to figure out if I'm making a joke or serious about it. You can tell that they have tons of questions, but the social niceties get in the way and you get to watch the wheels turn unspoken.

We live in interesting times.


Blogger NYC Educator said...

Kids are awfully smart. I mean, this kid's as smart as you are, plus as smart as your wife is. The odds are against you.

You need to be devious like you've never been devious before, and manipulate and offer false choices like you've never had to do with your classes, who honestly don't pay the same kind of attention your own kid will.

You need to plan elaborate tricks, but as soon as the kid figures out these tricks and starts using them against you, you'll need to concoct newer, even more evil tricks to defend yourself.

It's really a full-time, all-encompassing job.

5:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

grinning hugely

Interesting times indeed. It is like a dominant mutatant gene has manifested in every third person in western civilization which makes it impossible to discern common sense from absurdity.

I like to think I'd at least raise an eyebrow about "handi-capable," but I'm awfully polite.


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5:29 AM  

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