CI Activation

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sometimes You Just Gotta Plow the Corn

I have to admit that I've been in a rut lately. Not a huge, you need to be put on medication kind of rut but, a rut nonetheless. I think that it might be due to the extremely cold weather here in Texas this year. We've had several snow days and a couple of days with almost a foot of snow. Wait a minute! We live in Fort Worth, it doesn't snow like this in Fort Worth. Well, below is a picture to prove it.

Maybe I've been in a funk because I sprained my back or maybe because we have all just been a little under-the-weather in our house or maybe it is because I'm turning 39 tomorrow. I don't truly know the root cause or causes. I can just tell you that I've been a little melancholy for the past few weeks.

Every time that I've thought about sitting down to write a blog post, I've simply found an excuse not to do it...the dishes need to be done, the clothes need to be washed, I need to take a shower, I need to make a list of all the sh*t that I need to do, etc. So as I proceed to do all the other things in my life and ignore my blog, I've been thinking of a phrase that a relatively new friend said a couple of weeks ago...'sometimes you just gotta plow the corn.' She is obviously from Nebraska and that kind of phrase is part of her normal language. As for me, I had to think about it a little bit. Heck, I'm from Arkansas and we don't plant corn -- we marry our cousins but, don't plow corn (sorry if I just offended anyone from Arkansas with this comment).

So, I've been thinking about it and the entire concept of planting a field for harvest. It made me think of our little man. While I sometimes struggle with all the appointments, school trips, and therapy here at home, I must realize that I'm preparing his field for harvest. His harvest is listening and speaking. So, I plant my corn for Thomas.

Thomas has put on his planting boots, is digging and placing his seeds, and is ready for his field to grow (I'm calling these crazy green boots his planting boots).

Now all I have to do is suck it up, put on my overalls and my planting boots, and get to back to work on his corn field because...sometimes you just gotta plow the corn.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Give Him Some Credit

So, I wonder sometimes if I'm too tough on Thomas. Do I not give him enough credit for the things that he's doing, choosing only to focus on what he isn't doing? Always comparing him to the mythical normal child or to superhero CI child that goes for initial stimulation, only to start talking in multiple word utterances within months. Needless to say, Thomas has taught me two things in the past couple of days.

First, he taught me that he can say more than I give him credit for. As a part of our agreement to participate in a Med-El study of newly activated babies/toddlers, I had to complete a receptive and expressive diary listing all the words, approximations, and learning to listen sounds that Thomas knows and/or says. I won't take you through all the statistics, because it would probably bore anyone that isn't his parent. However I will say that, I was shocked by the results. No, shocked doesn't do it justice...I was you've got to be freakin' kidding me, pick my jaw up off the floor, get me a doctor to restart my heart...kind of shocked. He knows and says WAY more than I was giving him credit for. While he isn't a "normal" child nor is he a CI superhero, he is making some really great progress. We wouldn't be where we are today without his A-FREAKIN'-MAZING cert AVT, Ms. Becky, his wonderful teachers at the Hearing School of the Southwest and his 7-year old sister, Sidney. Can I get a "yahoo" or "maa-woo" (as Thomas says it) for these women -- they are the rock stars in Thomas' life.

The second thing that I learned from Thomas in the past couple of days is that he's not a mama's boy anymore. Gone are the days of tearful good-byes, well on Thomas' part at least. On Thursday of last week, I walked Thomas to his class at the Hearing School. Previously, this activity meant that Thomas would be clutching my leg and whining for me not to leave him. However, this time was different. He walked into the classroom and sat down with the other children. He took the play dough out, waved to me, blew me kisses and said, "bye-bye." So, I started to tear up a little and stopped to talk with his teacher by the door. Thomas heard me talking and got up out of his chair. He walked over to the door, waved to me again and proceeded to shut it on my face. That little stinker!

He showed me again that he's much more comfortable with leaving his mama when we went for our first swimming lesson. Okay, I have got to stop hear and give a BIG THANK YOU to Lucas' mom, Jennifer, for posting about their swimming lessons -- Lucas has LVAS just like Thomas and swimming lessons can help with balance challenges and for Thomas swimming will help to build his core muscles. Jennifer lit a fire under my rear and I signed Thomas up for lessons, too.

So, I take Thomas to lessons, get him changed into his swim suit, and we wait for Ms. Katherine to come and get us. As you can see from the picture below, Thomas really wanted to open the door to the pool and jump right in...alas, we talked a lot about waiting our talking to him really didn't help -- he wanted in that swimming pool!

When Ms. Katherine came to get Thomas, he waved good-bye to me (no words this time because I'm not brave enough yet to let him swim with his CI on) and off he went with a complete and total stranger. Yes, I cried as I watched him get into the water and not give me a second thought. He swam for 30 minutes, jumping in the water, going under while holding Ms. Katherine's hands, learning to kick, etc. He had a complete blast as you can see from the pictures below.

Ms. Katherine was awesome. She is a certified swim instructor for special needs children and has taught many deaf and HoH kids and adults to swim. She will use the tied noodle under his arms for a portion of each lesson until Thomas understands what to do without visual cues. Thanks to Alyssa for finding this teacher for me!

So, Thomas is definitely teaching me some lessons...I'm not the only teacher in this relationship. He is doing well in life, not the mythical normal child, no. And I wonder, who really wants the normal child anyway? I'm happy with what I've got...a child that is deaf in one ear, HoH in the other, who has sensory integration issues, a child that is completely crazy, a child that is amazing to me and one that I should give more credit.