Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hearing It All

            Lately my daughter Eden has been asking us “what?” and saying “I can’t hear you” when we talk to her.  I haven’t been overly concerned, figuring it was more of an I-don’t-understand thing rather than I-can’t-hear thing.  Still, being a typical mom, I wanted to get her hearing tested, if only to put my mind to rest.
            I called her doctor.  Sure enough, Dr. Phan said that Eden’s behavior was perfectly normal—but to play it safe we should get her tested.
            Eden is petrified of doctors, which she has reason to be since most of the time they’re poking, prodding, and injecting.  Ouch.  So to prepare her for the hearing test, I told her about it several days in advance.  She was very worried immediately, but I kept assuring that it would be okay, there would be no shots, and it might even be fun.  I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect at the appointment, but I figured it would include looking in her ears and having her listen to various decibel levels.
            The night before her appointment we were in the car, and I was again trying to help her nerves.  We decided to “practice” the hearing test, so I lowered my voice and said in a hushed whisper, “Eden is a cute little girl.”  Then I asked her to repeat it.  With a quirky smile, she whispered, “Eden is a cute little girl.”
            I had a strong feeling my daughter’s ears were just fine, except for the occasional problem of selective hearing.
            The next morning we headed into the doctor.  By the time the appointment started, I am pretty sure that my husband and I were way more stressed out than Eden was.  We had gone to the wrong building and ended up being 15 minutes late.  They agreed to see her, though.  During the test she was a perfect angel.  And she had a blast. 
            As I had expected, her ears were examined first.  Then she was brought into a sound-proof room and given headphones to wear.  In the next room, facing her with a glass window between them, sat the doctor.  She spoke into the microphone and asked Eden to repeat the words she said.  She said words that Eden would appreciate, like ice cream and playground.  Then she asked Eden to respond when she heard a train whistle.  Eden heard it, but being shy she just grinned.  The doctor made a game of it—when Eden heard the train, she was to throw the ball into the basket that my husband was holding.
            In the end, Eden had a wonderful time.  If anyone is trying to think of a fun activity to do with your kids for a special day, by all means give them a hearing test.  On the way to the doctor’s office, Eden wore out our ears by repeatedly saying, “I don’t want to go to the doctor!”  When we left, she wore out our ears saying, “I want to go to the doctor!” 
            Oh, and the doctor said her hearing is just fine.