A small but significant win.

Today my anxiety levels are high. I am stressed and tired and teary.

Our morning was rushed because I couldn’t drag myself out of bed which meant I shouted at the (deaf) kids. Then at breakfast William said to me ‘Mummy? Mummy. No shouting. No shouting Mummy’.

You know what that means? That means someone at school has said that to him. That means he’s been shouting at school. That means I really, really, really have to stop shouting. Cue more unbearable pressure on daily life.

He has cried so hard on the bus every morning this week. We have started every day in tears, both of us. The guilt, the pressure, the anxiety. All. Too. Much.

Harriet and I went to deaf playgroup. I LOVE deaf playgroup. There was a time when I hated it, hated having to be there at all. But it has become somewhat of a sanctuary for me. It’s calm and friendly and everyone there is the same as me. I don’t stand out. My kids don’t stand out.

It was quiet today, only three kids and we had plenty of time to talk. The staff gushed some more over our wedding, we talked more about Harriet’s impending operation, about William getting on a school.

All of it. All. Of. It. Was in sign language.

The teacher of the deaf said to me “I’ve never seen you sign before, you’re a natural. Have you had proper lessons? (I haven’t) Do you have qualifications? (I don’t) You flow so smoothly”.

The speech and language therapist said to me “you’re such an inspiration. It’s so good for all these Mums of newly diagnosed children to see you. You’re such a positive role model”. She even shed a tear!

And there, all of a sudden, I was winning.

I’m still an anxious, guilt ridden, shouty Mum. But, I’m one that’s pretty good at sign language. And that has pretty much made my week.

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Doubt

You know how whenever you book a hair cut your hair goes all awesome and easy and you start doubting whether or not you actually want it cut?

It’s like that. Except it’s not my hair, it’s my daughter.

Harriet’s cochlear implants are scheduled for January 31st. We found out just before Christmas and I thought I could put it to one side for the fortnight we were away getting married. I managed the first week. But as soon as the wedding was over it crept in, every day. And since we’ve been home it’s consumed me more and more. I am horrible to be around. I am crabby, short tempered, shouty and mean.

Harriet, however, is awesome. She is so very clever. And so very funny. And so very sweet. And cute. And fun to be around. She’s awesome and she’s easy.

And I am almost certainly certain that we are doing the right thing. Giving her the choice. Giving her the option to hear and to talk. Maximising her chances of a happy, successful, fulfilling life.

But she’s so happy right now. And so perfect. And I’m changing her forever.

And, unlike my hair, her natural hearing (minimal as it is) will never grow back.