Friday, April 11, 2008

Raising Deaf and Hard of Hearing Kids--Here, There and Everywhere

Today was nuts. I went food shopping at 2:45 and picked the youngest kiddo up at 3:30. Together, we put the food away and Steven tossed dinner in the oven while I hopped in the car to pick up Lauren at school. She stayed after school to play volleyball.

As soon as we arrived home, I sent her upstairs to pack a bag for her sleepover. Her friend was on her way home from the Illinois School for the Deaf and we planned to meet her at the bus stop about 40 minutes from our home. We encountered a lot of traffic on the highway and we pulled in the bus stop a half hour late. Fortunately for us, the bus was also late in getting there.

I said goodbye to Lauren and headed back into the traffic to meet my friend Beth at a local restaurant. We grabbed some appetizers at Friday's and took off for the high school to see who our kids were hanging out with. David and Aubrey stayed after school to play volleyball with deaf kids from another high school and they all had a pizza party afterwards.

I ran into my friend Carol, who was coaching the kids from the other high school. Carol and I go way back-- we played volleyball together for many years, traveling to tournaments in different states. It was so good to see her again, but it sure made me realize how the many years have gone by in a flash. I will be refereeing at the tournament that my son is playing in at Harper College next week and it will be good to see a lot of my old teammates there.

Tomorrow is more of the same traveling, except Joe and I will be going in two different directions. He's heading to the high school to drop off David for practice and then up north to pick up Lauren from the sleepover. David has a birthday party to attend tomorrow night and I'm heading to a 50th Anniversary party. On Sunday, we are heading to a meeting to rally for insurance coverage for hearing aids in Illinois.

One year, at a meeting, a seasoned mom was telling a new mom to prepare herself to spend a lot of time in the car-- she wasn't kidding. We have deaf friends scattered all over and it isn't uncommon for us to drive 45 minutes to over an hour each way for get togethers. Now the same thing is happening with our kids and many times we find ourselves juggling driving times into the schedules. We've been fortunate to work it out so that we have a lot of halfway meeting points to transport the kids back and forth.

I've figured out what I want for Christmas--one of those fancy back massagers that you can plug into an AV outlet and get a massage while you drive.

Honey, are you reading this?


Amy said...

I was looking up about deaf people and came across this. I worked at KFC for about 6 months and came across some deaf people. Normally they would want to write and such so I would get them a paper and a pen from them to write what they would want. All of my experiences with the deaf have been bad. I don't think its necessarily what I have done though. A lady ordered a 2 breast meal so i rang that up, then she handed me a coupon for a 2 piece dark meat meal (white meat is more expensive, breast is white meat)(there is also an upcharge for another breast) I wrote that the coupon was only good for legs and thighs, well she didnt seem to comprhend. I couldnt change what I had already rang up and the manager wouldnt change it so i used her coupon. I wanted to change it to a dark meal instead and just give her 2 breasts like she had asked for but i couldnt do it. well she left fine then came back in claiming i ripped her off and the meal shouldnt have been as much as what it was. in all reality i was giving it to her cheaper then it should have been, my work place was basically getting ripped off because i didnt feel the need for conflict and tried to comprimise with the lady.

Another time a deaf person came in with a paper asking for directions on how to get on i-70 to go to ohio so i wrote if they wanted the turnpike (which technically isnt i-70, i-70 is about 15minutes away from where we were)they wrote yes, so i told them which exit to get off at to get on the turnpike, then the guy spoke your just going to get us lost in a really rude tone, I live right beside a turnpike exit so i would have been able to get them to the turnpike. I know they did not know this, but I wasn't giving them wrong information I was being polite and trying to help out as much as I could.

Val said...

Karen, you need a back massager!

Dawn Colclasure said...

When you're a parent, there are just those days we LIVE in our cars! Hope you get the massager. :)

Tales from the CI Gal said...

I thought my life was busy! This is my first weekend at home in the last 6 weeks. My Jenna has dance competition and finally a weekend at home. I would not trade anything for the world.

Enjoy the weekend of running, but remember one day your child will have the honor of doing the same for their children.

Stephanie said...

Egads, it's true! This week, I hauled my son to the psychiatrist, his therapist (both an hour away from where we live) and his occupational therapist, along with to gymnastics, the library and a million other places. I am exhausted, and I only have that one kid! Forget the car massager, I want a chauffeur! ;)

Abbie said...

Boy can I relate to you! I'm not a parent yet but I drive all over the place!

I think i'm going to put that down on my shopping list too!

Es said...

I find your comments rude and off-topic from the original blog post. I understand about the first situation, I've worked predominantly in the customer service industry. Fortunately for me my "Grandma" Sherry was an interpretor for our local school system when I was growing up, she taught me a few basics so I could communicate and I loved it. In the second situation you would have gotten them lost. they weren't asking for directions to the turnpike. I would have been offended by someone treating me that way even when i wasn't hard of hearing. No one likes to be treated like they're stupid. I have had many pleasant experiences with the deaf and Hard of hearing community, both before and after i started losing my hearing.
I know exactly what you mean about having to travel so many places. I have 3 children myself, the oldest is studying for a hardship license at the moment. I have degenerative disc disease so driving is a literal pain for me. *hugs* and I hope you get your massager soon.

groovyoldlady said...

Ugh, Ugh, and Triple ugh! I hate commuting, carpooling, running, waiting, grabbing fast food, hurrying, etc.

Oh the things we'll do for our kids!

Genevieve Hinson said...

Good luck on the rally!

Gosh I don't drive nearly that much and, some days, just can't stand it!