Teddy Bear Pajama Picnic Day
With pony tails and barrettes in her hair, Fiona was so happy. She held her pink care bear teddy with a rainbow in her lap as I strapped the seat belt and kissed her goodbye. I watched the bus drive away and still had a sadness deep inside. I thought life’s not going to be a Teddy Bear Pajama Picnic. Not that it ever is or ever could be. Moments are, many moments are like Teddy Bear Picnics. And they still can be and will be. It’s just a difficult time right now. Fiona got her new ear molds yesterday, they fit perfect. The audiologist put them both in. I sat and thought we were in the clear. A difficult thing had been done. We were done with the hearing test, her hearing only decreased a bit, the audiologist said she thought it is a temporary decline from the ear infection. Fiona took the hearing aid out of her not two minutes after it was in. She said she couldn’t hear. I tried to talk her into wearing it, but she wouldn’t. Later, Alan did get her to wear her hearing aid for an hour, but then she took it off and said it hurt. This morning before school I asked Fiona, It’s the Teddy Bear Pajama Day Picnic, don’t you want to wear both your hearing aids for the picnic? Fiona didn’t want to wear both, still. She said again, I can’t hear. I decided not to push it any further. I went to find a case to put the hearing aids in that she won’t wear so the teachers could try at school. I don’t want to bring that to school, Fiona said. I though she meant the eyeglass case I put it in, it wasn’t pink and sparkly. No, the hearing aid. I said O.K. and went upstairs, locked myself in the bathroom and started to cry. I wrote the teachers an e-mail, then I called and left messages, my voice cracking and squeaking as I said I know she’s only a four year old but I don’t want to send the hearing aid to school when she told me she didn’t want it in her backpack and I know I’m her mom and I should make her wear it but I don’t feel right. I don’t know what it’s like to wear hearing aids, maybe it’s really uncomfortable or it sounds too loud or she likes having one ear with nothing in it and she’s gotten used to that feeling of not hearing at all unless it’s a fire truck siren out of that ear. Every time I think of my sweet, innocent, daughter, her face and posture the way she told me each time she didn’t want to wear the hearing aid, I cry. I saw a little girl display big girl emotions, she expressed a deep conviction on this matter. She’s having feelings about herself and her body and I don’t know what they are. I have to respect her. I feel caught between one of the saddest emotions I’ve ever felt and scared of the IEP’s and the Public-School system. I know we are so lucky to have a public-school system and to have disability rights at all. It shouldn’t be something we should have to feel lucky about, we pay taxes to have a public education system. But I know dollars are stretched thin and I feel bad asking for, demanding for the type of education Fiona needs to be on par with the rest of the kids. And if, Fiona would rather not hear as well as she could, for example wearing both hearing aids, then that’s a different life Fiona will lead. She’s going to have to study harder than Jack. She needs to learn two languages, sign language and English. She’s going to have to be super tuned into social situations and learn how to navigate those when people are talking and like the old deaf man told me the other day at the coffee shop, when people find out you can’t hear them they move on, they don’t have patience to make sure I understand what they are saying. Far from a Teddy Bear Pajama Picnic.