Yesterday, I was driving my perfectly precious little 5-year-old boy to school when he announced, "I can't hear very good."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I can't hear when the TV is too quiet. It has to be really loud for me to hear. And I can't always hear the questions that the teacher asks, so I don't raise my hand in class."
This was a new one for me. Hmm... do I err on the side of caution this time or wait and see if this is a real issue? Sure, I try not to jump every time he skins a knee or busts a lip, but then again, if he's having a problem hearing, I might need to check it out right away. I doubted he was going deaf. Most likely, with all the pollen flying around right now, his ears were gunky from allergies.
|Unintentional April Fool's prankster|
or master trickster?
"Do you need to go to the doctor?" I was hoping this would make him reconsider in case it wasn't a real problem. Instead, he seemed to perk up at the idea of going to the doctor.
"Yes! I really need to go to the doctor."
"OK, but it won't be until this afternoon, which means you'll miss recess." One last attempt.
"It's OK. I need to go to the doctor."
I dropped off Little Dude at school and called Big Dude who was immediately worried and wanted to get it checked out. Big Dude, you should know, had a burst eardrum as a child and as the veteran of such an affliction, he worries about ear infections... which for some reason never seem to exhibit any symptom in our child except the occasional "squishy" sound that his ears make when he yawns or opens his mouth as wide as possible. So, with that in mind, a co-pay is a small price to pay to make sure our kid isn't going to suffer some sort of aural trauma.
SIDE NOTE: Now, I know that as a reader, who is probably much wiser and more skilled in the ways of parenthood and child psychology, you can already see where this is headed. It seems as if everyone has some point in their childhood where they faked an injury and their parents fell for it. For me, I was about the same age when I feigned a broken arm for an entire day (apparently, I was quite an actress) and my parents finally rushed me to the doctor. I even had x-rays! Although I didn't have a broken arm, I was still disappointed I didn't get a cast.
So yesterday afternoon, Big Dude took Little Dude to the doctor. She checked his ears and gave him a hearing test... which he passed with a great big perfect score. Then she asked him again why he thought his hearing wasn't up to par. His answer? "Well, I don't always hear things the first time. They have to say it again before I hear it."
Big Dude said the kids down the hall could probably hear the doctors laughter. At least we know Little Dude could hear it!
And now, Little Dude doesn't have any excuse for not listening to us! We've got the proof. I think I might frame his hearing test for reference. Yep, those little ears work. He just needs to use them!
And from now on, when my kid tells me something out of the ordinary, I'll make sure to check the calendar first.