Sunday, April 24, 2011

Things that go bump in the night...and day and midafternoon

Chance is hearing things. I mean, he has been hearing things for many years now for which we are very grateful. Lately though, he has been hearing eerie things that make him highly nervous. He has come to me several times and told me that he hears footsteps, knocking or other random noises from our basement. This sort of thing gets to a kid. I have tried to figure out what he is hearing. The basement is mostly unfinished and part of the house upstairs has wood floors so the noise carries. I had Chance go downstairs and then I ran across the wood floor and back to see if that is what he is hearing.

It wasn't.

I have gone down to check out the noises when he hears them, but the noise is gone by the time I get there.

The mystery is, what is Chance hearing? We have been in this house for several years so one would think that all of the basic daily noises such as walking across the wood floor, or the dishwasher draining, would be noises that Chance has acclimated to.

I don't want Chance to be scared that someone is in the house which he has expressed as a possibility. We have bunnies that live downstairs and sometimes they make a ruckus in their cages, but again, we have had the bunnies for years so one would think Chance would be used to those noises.

Today, Chance's friend was over and apparently they both heard the noises but when I went down to check out what they were hearing, I heard nothing. Twice.

It is a mystery. In the mean time, I noticed that the last time Chance went downstairs with his friend, he was carrying his pellet gun down by his side like policemen do in movies as they search an area for a bad guy. Normally we do not let the boys carry their pellet guns around the house and Chance is quite compliant with this rule. I think he just wanted to feel armed in case the noise was attached to a bad guy.

We need to figure this mystery out so that Chance can feel secure in his own home.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Tower of Terror

Chance and his Mom (along with sister, far left, and brother, far right) try to save his implants.
I believe this photo right here, best describes the thoughts of Chance and me as we lunged downward in our Tower of Terror elevator. Who knew that the ride had a camera taking pictures and who could have planned for the camera to snap just as Chance's implant started to come off? Talk about perfect timing! We weren't familiar with the ride and were not sure if we should take the implants off or not. Turns out, we should have:) The implants took care of the problem themselves somewhat when one of them swung off and while Chance and I both watched in nervous anticipation landed a short distance ahead of us. It was added stomach butterflies to an already thrilling ride. Thankfully, we were able to reach the implant before the ride lurched downward again. The ride was great fun and after the implants were safely padded in my pocket, trouble free.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Living life on the edge

There are those extreme people who like to live life on the edge. They scale mountains without using harnesses, they bungee jump off of the world's tallest bridges and they zoom through the darkness of the Space Mountain ride at Disneyland not being able to see or hear, reaching speeds of 55 miles per hour. What a thrill! Talk about living on the edge.

Well, our Chance is one of those thrill seekers. During our recent trip to Disneyland, due to the fact that we have never assessed at exactly what speed will cause the implants to let go of the magnet and fly off of Chance's head, Chance takes them off when going on roller coasters. Space Mountain is unique because you are hurling through outer space which as everyone knows is extremely dark except for a few dimpled lights provided by stars.
Chance (waving) and his brother get ready for "Blast Off" on California Screamin' Roller Coaster at California Adventure Park

I was curious to see how all of our kids liked the ride, but especially Chance who rode through the dark in silence with out hearing the nifty music or commands from mission control. Not even the screeches from other riders who give a clue as to impending dips or staggering heights on the tracks.

He loved it.

Maybe we can get him a nifty headband to hold them on, but then the microphones would be covered anyway so would that defeat the purpose?

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Chance sings a solo

Chance tried out for a solo part today in music class. If you wanted a solo part, you stood up in front of the class and sang a song while the whole class listened. Quite an act of bravery I would say at age 10. Heck, that is an act of bravery at ages 7-103. Singing in front of people takes courage and confidence.
Chance got up and started to sing, and then some of the students started to laugh at him. I don't know that Chance would have told us about this incident, but the chorus teacher at the school is also Chance's guitar teacher and he told Chance's dad when we took the boys for their guitar lessons.
The teacher told the laughing students that they were being rude and and he would not tolerate it in class and that everyone was to be treated with respect. (In his words, he "came unglued!!!") Chance told us that one of the boys came over and apologized after class.
Our little Chance's confidence was a little shattered and so I went in to do some damage control.
First off, I explained to Chance that he was incredibly brave to stand up and sing in front of the class and that his dad and I were proud of him.
Then I told him that I didn't know why, but some kids are just mean and rude. They make fun of kids who don't shoot the basketball that well (Chance is a good shot and plays the game,"Speed", at recess), or kids who don't wear clothes that they like or kids who are different than them. I told him that even adults have people who are rude to them sometimes. And sometimes, kids don't realize that they are being mean.
I told him that we just have to ignore those people who laugh, and that while it can hurt our feelings when they make fun of us, to try not to worry about those few kids. There are many many more people who are not laughing and we can't let the few who are stop us from doing the things we want to do.
I acknowledged that it was hurtful that those kids were rude and laughed, but that most of the class was not laughing. Then I told Chance about the time when I was in school and I went to try out for a part in a play and I sat in the back of the room watching other kids try out in front of an audience and then I chickened out and I never tried.
"You did?" Chance asked surprised.
Then I told him,"Chance, it takes courage to stand up and sing in front of the class, and if you want to sing a solo later in the school year, I think you should get up and try out again."
Chance took this in for a minute and kind of slowly shook his head.
I think he will try out again if it is something he wants to do. I hope that is the case because I don't want him to loose his confidence. I also don't want him to get a complex about performing in front of people. He may have kids that laugh at him due to the fact that it takes him longer to learn a song and sing right on key. I want him to have the confidence to go forward anyway. These kids have no idea what a miracle Chance's hearing is and how much harder he has to work than they do to sing. I want him to be able to get past those negative kids and press forward. Chance can sing, and he is getting better and taking lessons to teach him to hear the differences in the notes and then translate that into his singing voice. And he can do it. He'll have to learn to block out the naysayers who always seem to show up.
We have been very blessed in the fact that Chance has not had a lot of ridicule from other kids due to his deafness. I don't want him to acquire a complex about it now. I'm not even sure he equates his deafness to the laughing kids. I just want him to be able to dim the noise of the naysayers and go forward to where he wants to be.