Friday, July 02, 2004

One TV Blasting and a Pig Outdoors...

Canada Day was pretty neat but kind of overwhelming. Without discussing it I think we both wanted to make a special effort to go out and get involved in a day that has been traditionally one of the top holidays of the year for us - we both love Canada Day and celebrate it big-time. This year would not be any different.

I had a couple of dizzy spells - the crowds were pretty disconcerting in total silence. I had a really bad moment of cognitive dissonance while watching the Parade as a Scottish Pipe and Drum band passed by; fifty guys and gals blowing puff-cheeked into bagpipes with all their might and wailing away on drums and I suddenly realized how loud it was and I couldn't hear it... very strange feeling, and it made me quite dizzy for a moment. I'd been warned that might happen and of course husband was there for me to hang on to :) .

Just to add another dimension to everything, "the kids" have arrived from Ontario. Husband and I are as close as possible to our nieces and nephews in NB, NF and ON; the three siblings who live in a suburb of Toronto are especially fond of us and we spend a lot of time with them every summer. I have been, in the back of my mind, worrying about what would happen when they arrived to spend the summer here, as they always do; how well will they be able to understand what's happened/happening to me? More importantly, how well will they be able to communicate with me through writing? (The youngest, only four, obviously not.) Will they be freaked out? I'm not sure what if anything their mom and dad, or grandma and grandpa have told them yet.

Anyway, I've ordered a book that's been recommended, One TV Blasting and a Pig Outdoors, which is a boy's story of life with his speaking and lipreading deaf father (in the book, dad went deaf at the age of 3). I have conflicting reviews on whether the father signs in the book, which seems to be a bone of contention for signers, but not much of an issue for me now.

(I researched books about deafness for kids but, for obvious reasons, the protagonist in those books are always either a congenitally deaf child or adult who is competently deaf and who signs - I could find nothing about children living with adults who losing or have lost their hearing, and how that might affect the kid, or the relationship. So I've decided to write one myself. [Seriously - why not have a stab at it?] Agents, get in on the ground floor - my working title is Harry Potter and the Deaf-As-A-Post-Auntie.)

I chose One TV Blasting and a Pig Outdoors because firstly the father is speaking as well as speechreading, so he can speak to the child but cannot hear him, which duplicates our situation; but also largely because it basically outlines the various devices and methods that the dad uses such as a TTY (Teletypewriter) and explains how they work (it even has a glossary of terms in the back), which I hope will help the kids adapt to understanding and using those things too. It should be here in a few days. If it turns out to be useful, I'll get more copies for the other littles in all provinces.

But one correspondent assured me that I would not need a book to help them understand. Kids understand things like that better than adults, he said. "You have a bigger problem," he warned. "Those kids are going to learn how to fingerspell. Better practice!" Eek... knowing my curious bunch, he's probably right... hmm, 'a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e' - no, that's 'a' again - 'e'...



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