Amy wrote a post a week or so ago about "Grocery Store Education"--essentially, the way she dealt with some of the more tact-less questions people ask about Max out in public.
Well, today Evan and I had "Yard Sale Education." Now that Evan is officially free of ear infections, Jeremy and I have been pushing the hearing aids hard. So Evan had been wearing his hearing aids at home most of this morning, and continued to do so when we went for a walk to the post office and grocery store this afternoon. Because he is quite adept at picking the aids out and then sneakily dropping them through the leg openings of the stroller, I attatched the safety cords to the aids and cliped it to the back of his shirt.
On the way to town, we walked right by a yard sale--and I can't pass one without stopping to look. As soon as I slowed down, Evan pulled out his aids. Wanting to be consistant, I leaned down and said/signed "no, you need them," and proceeded to put them back in his ears. The woman running the sale looked at me and asked "Do those play music or something?" (I'm guessing she thought this because of the "cord" they were attached to). I said "No, they are hearing aids." She shook her head and said "I'll be, hearing aids for a baby..." almost like what will they think of next...
By this point, I was seriously repressing the urge to say something sarcastic (and wishing I had just stuck to walking on our street, where everyone knows Evan and doesn't think twice about seeing him with hearing aids or glasses--they might ask questions, but it's more along the lines of "Are those new?" or "How are they working?"). One of the other customers chimed in "I bet that gets expensive, with losing or breaking them all the time." I'm thinking to myself: You don't have to be a senior citizen to have a hearing problem. Is there some unspoken age requisite to being allowed to hear and participate in verbal communication? And yeah, hearing aids aren't cheap (thank god for DSHS--our primary would have paid zero), but being able to take part in a verbal exchange, or to hear a blaring truck horn and then get out of the way...truly priceless.
In the end, I didn't say any of these things. I just quietly finished putting his aids in, and then we were on our way. I know that people don't ask questions or make comments to be rude or hurtful. But it's still annoying to think that Jeremy or I doing whatever we can to make sure Evan can hear is looked at by another person as a novelty--like "Oh, isn't that cute." It's hard to accept that a disability or a peice of adaptive equipment is what people see and think about first when they look at my child. I want him to be "Evan, the cute, blondish boy" not "Evan, the kid with the hearing aids."