Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The vacuum

While I was in college and just newly married, I worked with a woman who talked about how she had such a busy schedule, that she had to vacuum the house at 5:00 a.m. sometimes.

We're not talking about vacuuming the main areas of the house either away from family bedrooms.  She would vacuum her children's bedrooms before the rising of the sun while they were still sleeping.  She said that she had trained her children from a young age to just sleep through it.

Since I was in college, and could still recall my teen-age years quite vividly, I remember thinking I would have hated my mother vacuuming my bedroom at 5:00 a.m.  My mother actually hadn't vacuumed my room for years by the time I was  teenager, leaving that little task to me, but the thought of someone entering my bedroom at 5:00 a.m. with a roaring hungry vacuum sounded quite unpleasant.

I thought of this woman and her vacuuming habits as I entered Chance's room while he lay asleep this morning.  His little sister had just dumped a bag of sour candy upside down next to the bed releasing  a cascade of sugary powder onto the floor.

Chance slept blissfully on unaware that his sister, his brother and me were busy encircling the bed and sucking up the mess.

The difference though between me and my old co-worker, was that I would have welcomed Chance getting up to the sound of the vacuum.  The morning was getting on and it was time to get ready for church.

Waking Chance when he is fast asleep is a little like waking the dead, and on this particular morning, he was really tired.  He had played in soccer games, run a 6K at the school and stayed out late playing night games with friends over the weekend.

The vacuum did not wake Chance up obviously, so his brother and sister and me had to get out the big guns.......our squeaky swords, a cap pistol(not loaded) and a  little squirt bottle. Between the three of us, we  eventually got Chance  awake and ready to face the world.

It was not just Chance that needed the big guns this morning either.  His brother needed the same treatment to get him moving and he can hear just fine when we call him. Perhaps we should have tried the vacuum with him first:)

Monday, May 20, 2013

A teenager is born

I don't know how it happened, but CHANCE IS A TEENAGER!!

Yesterday he was shoving his hearing aids behind the couch and refusing to wear them as his startled grandparents watched, and today he was trouble shooting implant batteries that had not fully charged overnight with his dad.

A teenager.  Chance has crossed the line into........well into teenager hood. I didn't notice any sudden changes, but I am keeping my eyes open.

As a tribute to Chance's birthday, I would like to reflect on some of my favorite memories through the years.

One hot summer day when Chance and his brother were in the midst of some deep creative play, I realized with a panic, that Chance was supposed to be at the doctors office for his kindergarten shots. I literally just gathered kids from their various places of play and loaded them into the car.

It was at the doctors office as I panted from the sprint of arriving on time, that I fully realized that Chance was in his cowboy gear.  Including a holster with a cap gun inside.  At about the same moment I realized this, the nurse came to call us back.   At this point in Chance's life cycle, his language skills were still behind and I could not explain things in much detail in many cases.  Although Chance didn't fully understand what was going to happen, he must have had some sort of a premonition.  He started telling me "no" and as the two nurses talked to him as he lay on the exam table, he told them no too.

Then he pulled out the big guns.  Literally.  With a shaky hand and a dead serious expression, Chance pulled his cap gun out of its holster and pointed it at the nurses.  He meant no, and if he needed to use force, he was ready.

Thankfully, the nurses all thought it was adorable. They held straight faces through out the ordeal, but I heard them in the nurses station laughing and telling the other nurses how adorable the boy in room two was.

Then there was the time Chance had done something for which he knew he would get into trouble.  This was pre-cochlear implant days at our house and Chance could not hear us if we called him down the hall, so I was on my way to get him when I was met with this:

Chance was running up the hall smiling and  flashing "I love you" with both hands.  I have to admit that it worked a little.  Whatever he was about to get into trouble for, was diffused with those gestures of affection.

For years Chance attended school with the same group of deaf kids and they all became really close.  They went to school together,  ate lunch together , played at recess together and then wanted to play at each others houses after school.  They were like family.  One day at school,  one of the kids wanted to tell the other kids that they had bought new underwear.  Not having the language to fully be understood by their hard of hearing friends, they decided they should just show the others how wondrous their new underwear really was.  This led to Chance wanting to show off his way cool underwear as well.  At about this point, the teacher came out and it just didn't look good.  I'm not sure how many of the kids were flashing at this point, but the teacher thought she should tell her supervisor.  Thankfully, the supervisor was able to see the situation for what it was and with encouragement from the School for the Deaf and the parents, we prevented a mass flash of undies again.
Kids who have seen Chance's underwear. Chance is on the far right.
From the beginning, Chance has had a soft heart and one of his teachers told me of a touching incident that happened on the bus.  Chance attended school with a little girl who was in a wheelchair with a breathing tube.  Because of this,  she was not able to run outside and play at recess like the other kids.  Chance's teacher told me that Chance noticed this and started holding back sometimes and would play with her inside doing puzzles or other things she could do.   He would also try to make sure that she was included in activities the kids were doing.

One day on the bus as Chance passed by this little girl, she was overcome with emotion and grabbed him and planted a kiss on him while giggling.  Chance was taken by surprise and the bus drivers were touched.

I have just loved all of the stages of Chance.  He is one of the greatest joys in my life, and I look forward to many more happy memories that we can share.


Sunday, May 05, 2013

Chance goes "off-line"

Chance LOVES to read and has found that by taking off his implants, he can immerse himself into his own little world.

That would be nice to do sometimes wouldn't it?

It needs to be done in the right way though.  That would mean not locking the door, taking off the implants and settling into reading a book.

That is good if you have given warning to the family that you are "off-line" so to speak, so they don't call you and knock on the door waiting for you to respond.

Another time Chance is in his own little world.
Chance's sister ended up having to go outside and get his attention by knocking and waving at him through the window.

That must have been an awesome sight for our neighbors across the street.

There was Chance's sister calling through the window into the house while waving her arms about.

Having a deaf person in the house definitely keeps it interesting for all of us.

After that little incident we had a talk with Chance about how we as his family, and especially his parents, need to know when he decides to take himself "off-line".

Then he did it again a few hours later!!

This time we were a little more firm in our admonitions about Chance taking off implants and locking the door when no one knows he is unable to hear anything.

Jeez, it would be nice to have that capability sometimes though wouldn't it?