It’s Like a Naked Nightmare

I apologize that I haven’t started my Look Back and Laugh Linkup like I thought I would. I did want to share a little “Look Back and Laugh” story that happened to me last week though.

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Here is the scene. Our bathroom has two doors. One goes to the master bedroom and the other goes to the hall way. While I was taking a shower someone locked the door. I don’t know who the perpetrator was or what in the world their motive was, but if we had surveillance cameras I bet we’d see a curious little two year old turning a lock and walking out slamming the door behind him.

Unaware of this, I tried getting into my room from the bathroom and from the hall only to find both doors locked and no one in there to unlock it. I panicked. I know you can pick an interior lock with a bobby pin or something like that, but I have tried that before when this has happened and could never get it to work. J has been the only one able to unlock these door knobs.

I figured J could walk me through it if he were available, but guess what? MY PHONE WAS IN MY ROOM! So there I was wrapped up in a towel with no access to my clothes whatsoever. I pretty much freaked out. I had access to all the other rooms, but I needed my clothes. I could ask one of my apartment neighbors to use their phone, but HELLO! I’m in a towel. Is this like a messed up Desperate Housewives episode or what? Maybe I could fit into Z’s clothes, but come on, he’s 7 and I am pregnant. Not. Going. To. Happen.

J wasn’t due home for several hours and to make matters worse for once in my life I had plans. A baby sitter was coming over so that I could go out to a show with my sister in law.  What in the world would you do in that situation?

Well, now that I think you are feeling how I was at that moment I can share the miracle that happened. Although my computer had also been in my room, I just happened to bring it into the kitchen shortly before my shower. When I realized that I texted J (which I can do via iMessage on the laptop) but he was in school so I watched a few youtube videos about lock picking (and was again unsuccessful) but eventually J was able to text me back and walk me through it.

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So it all worked out in the end, but my heart was POUNDING. Next time something like that happens I better wake up and realize it was all a dream!

By | June 9th, 2015|Laughter|14 Comments

Building a Language

My first response before I even knew the degree of SJ’s hearing loss was to learn American Sign Language and teach it to her. I never thought it would be be easy, but my original expectations might have been a little unrealistic.

I was already familiar with baby sign language. I figured that if babies can learn to sign before they can talk then this sign language thing should be a breeze, especially for SJ because she’s brilliant! Come to find out it’s not that simple and it has to do with what I wrote about last week in “the Science of Language”. You acquire your first language by being immersed in it and it all happens easily and naturally. It’s called first language acquisition.

Babies hear MILLIONS of words before they ever say their first! They are observing, listening and mentally taking it all in for the first year or so. It’s a critical time developmentally. A deaf baby born in a deaf family is going through the same process except with a manual language. These children are typically raised in deaf culture so they see sign language happening all around them through their parents, teachers, and communities. One of SJ’s therapist says a child needs to see a sign around 100 times before it sticks. I thought I would simply show SJ some signs and teach her how to talk, but I am up against her natural urge of language acquisition which is to imitate, and for the past 2 and a half years she hasn’t seen any proof that the world around her communicates through sign language. Even now, I try to sign quite a bit, but we are still no where near the amount of oral words she would be hearing if she could. I’m not sure if I am making sense, but this whole first language acquisition thing was a recent epiphany for me. I just never thought about it that way.

Realizing your child is at square one trapped in world without language is a tough pill to swallow. It’s different than realizing that they can’t hear, it’s like Okay. Wow, we have a lot of lost time to make up. I explain it to people using Z as an example. Z started watching signing time and learning ASL along with us just a few months ago. As a 4 year old he quickly picked up around 100 words with minimal effort. I can ask Z What is the sign for share? and he’ll show me. The difference between him and SJ (besides that Z is 2 1/2 years older) is that Z already has a language. He knows what share means and has been learning about this word for years, now he is just attaching a sign to it. Just because SJ is deaf it doesn’t mean she is naturally more inclined to pick up sign language, it’s going to be harder for her because of the lack of immersion that I mentioned earlier. Anyway, that was my light bulb moment last month, but taking all this into consideration she is doing awesome. Sometimes I take for granted how much she does communicate with us through ASL. I need to document more of those precious first words that we are seeing from her.

On another note, we got the test results back yesterday and praise the Lord SJ’s brain and ear anatomy looks great. This means the hearing loss is not caused by any shocking unforeseen damage or malformations. That is really good news and now we can move forward with getting a cochlear implant, which is another big ol’ topic that I need to write about sometime. Just another curve on this windy hilly journey that we are on. There are ups and downs, pit stops, and speed bumps, but I am trying to take in all the beautiful scenery along the way and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

By | September 6th, 2012|Babies & Toddlers, Parenting Tips, Special Needs, Uncategorized|2 Comments