Saturday, September 15, 2007

"Do those play music?"

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."


Anonymous said...

Hello Evan, You're such a cute, blond headed boy to all of us who love you and to many more. I'm so happy to hear that you do not have an ear infection. I know that makes you and your parents very happy. We are all thinking of you down here on Galvin. Love, Lynn, Jim & greatgrandpa/ma.

Amélie Mia Chan said...


Yes I am on chloramphenicol for the eye...lucky me.

This post is sad and I know you feel annoyed, your right why do people not see our children first and forget all the added extras...however...I have the opposite problem to you!!

I am sick and tired of people treating Amélie has a hearing person because she has no auditory nerves and cant hear, they pick up musical toys and put them to her hear, and then say 'oh look she loves the music doesnt she'

I cringe each time this happens and especially when people talk to her and dont get the reaction they would like, I march off saying she's DEAF...I cant hide my frustration!

So well done for not even going there with these people, I wish I could do the same.

Love Les and Amélie xx

Amélie Mia Chan said...

What I wanted to add is if Amélie wore hearing aids like she did before we got the auditory news then at least people did see the aids and there were fewer comments...if that makes sense

mighty max and mommy amy said...

amen sarah...amen. couldn't agree with you more. sooooo excited to see you in just a few weeks. :)

love you, amy and max

Eva Nichole said...

People can be so rude without even knowing they are rude. I know how hard it is but we have to learn to look past it and maybe teach these rude people a thing or two about our children and maybe they will not be so "rude" to the next poor family they come across.
Hugs to all,
Crystal and Eva