I made an dr.'s appointment for all my kids the other day. There is something really wrong with them. I'm very concerned.
Apparently they have all three gone deaf and are also suffering from short-term memory loss.
It happened gradually, a missed word here and there, a misunderstood sentence, a forgetful moment, etc.
At first I didn't think much about it, just attributed it to a noisy room or maybe I was mumbling when I spoke to them or maybe they were just tired when I gave instructions and their young little minds just simply forgot. No big deal.
But then, as time passed, their conditions became worse. Every day I began noticing things that folks with hearing loss sometimes do, such as inappropriate responses in conversation, not responding at all, or asking me to repeat what I said.
And even more concerning was the memory loss. At bedtime, for instance, we have had the same routine for eight years now (or however long I've had kids who have teeth). Brush your teeth, use the restroom, get a drink.
There are no surprises here and very little variation. And yet, almost nightly lately, my children just wander around the hallways looking dazed and disoriented, completely disregarding the fact that they have usual duties to perform. It's like they've never gotten ready for bed in their life. Almost like they've forgotten that there is such a thing as a toothbrush. It's this big surprise EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.
"What? You mean you want me to brush my teeth? Is this a new rule?"
And with one of my children, who DETESTS brushing her teeth because it involves getting your hands wet and she can't stand that, being supposedly unaware of the routine means she is caught off guard. Every single night. And then we must go through the entire dramatic scene all over. It's quite similar to living with a belligerent Alzheimer's patient.
I have prepared my list of symptoms and concerns for the doctor. I've taken all three children to dr. appointments before, you see, and I know that it's somewhat difficult to remember what I wanted to talk to him about when I'm trying to keep my child's hands out of the toxic waste trashcan and telling the older girls to stop making rooster balloons out of the latex gloves.
The last time we went to the doctor, my youngest ran smack into on of those rolling metal trays doctors tend to keep in the hallway. She knocked it over and the sound of metal clanging on the tile floor was SO loud and startling that every doctor (there are 4 in the practice) came out of the patient rooms they were in to make sure no one had suffered a heart attack and fallen.
We tend to be kind of disruptive.
Anyway, my list of symptoms include such things as:
1. Staring at me with a confused look when I ask them to take their dishes to the sink, pausing just a second, then walking away.
2. Having ZERO recollection of being asked to put their shoes away in the basket. "What? I had no idea!"
3. Listening to my instructions and, when asked to repeat them back, saying something like, "won't get a blister" when in actuality what I said was, "don't tease your sister".
4. Looking directly at their young faces and explaining that they are not allowed to beg me to buy things when we get out of the car and go into a store. Then, before we even get past the front doors being asked four times to buy a stuffed animal or toy mouse (I know, it's weird, but that's her thing. Rodents.).
Sometimes I just look at them, totally baffled. I have visions of what our future might look like around here. All three will have hearing aids, wear name tags on their backs, I'll have to put signs on the refrigerator that say, "close the door" or "two cheese sticks is enough" because otherwise they'll eat the entire pack and leave the door open for hours.
Other times I think I should just stop talking altogether. Nobody can hear me, anyway. It would probably be a relief to my children that that annoying feedback and background noise that they can't quite make out but is always annoyingly there, is suddenly quiet. It would be like the relief you feel when your ears have been ringing and then suddenly stop and all is silent and normal again. It's wonderful. Perhaps I am just that never ending, droning background noise to my children.
I will stop. I just will simply stop speaking. I'll be the mute mom, my kids will be deaf and confused, and my husband will put us all away.