Saturday, September 22, 2012

less of me



He’s had a cough.




Only I didn’t know it.


The joys of being a deaf mother.


Mr. Daddy told me in the morning, that he’d been up with the kiddo and gave him some medicine sometime in the wee hours.




Mommy guilt.




She was in front of me in line at Target.


She had an empathetic look on her face, said something, and gestured in my direction.


I assumed she was indicating the plastic separator-bar-thingie she’d placed between our items.  I smiled and said, “thank you”.


She looked puzzled and shifted her glance behind me.


My hearing aid registered a loud and rhythmic sound.  Even Itty Bit twisted around to see the source.


A toddler was pitching the mother of all public fits – scream sobbing at his mother with face and fists full of 3-year old rage.


I mentally repeated the sounds the woman in front of me had said.


Poor kid.


I gave myself a virtual head-palm and realized she had been talking about the fit-thrower, not the conveyer belt.


And I’d said, “thank you”.



Dumb.  Dumb.  DUMB.







On the weekend.


I turned to see my father-in-law standing in the entry chatting with Mr. Daddy.  They were both looking at me.

I breathed a sigh of relief that I was bedecked in a guest-worthy TWO undergarments and they were both appropriately not visible!  However, the poor man may have walked in to hear me singing.

I have no idea how long he’d been standing there talking while enduring that torture.


Dumb.  Dumb.  DUMB.






Bang.  BANG.  BANG.


I couldn’t locate the source of the sound.




And exactly 52 minutes later the mystery was solved.


A smoking hot piece of pumice retrieved from a freshly dried load of laundry.  Thanks kiddo.





He loves it.





And it warms my heart.





I’ve passed on my love of reading to him.




His teacher tells me she is impressed at the level he’s reading.


I beam inside.


My kid’s a genius, right?


(Go ahead, chuckle.  You’ve been reading this blog, haven’t you?)



But her next words deflate me.

She has no idea.



But he seems to have picked up your accent.



And just like that, the words fall hard in front of me.
















Is it true that we all feel a measure of pride in seeing a bit of ourselves in our children?  Or that we fondly hope they will be better versions of ourselves?



Instead, I’m the mom who sleeps through his coughing.  Answers strangers in stores with answers that make no sense.  Sings away while company stands ignored.  Can’t figure locate the loud noise that might be destroying a major appliance.  And cannot teach her boy how to say words.


If this sounds like a poor me post, it’s not.  The realities of parenting with a disadvantage sometime suck.  And this week brought some harsh reminders.


In this way, I wish he had less of me.




My plan of attack includes a secret weapon.


Swapping Talk About My Occupation Day for teaching a classroom full of first graders sign language is bound to make Itty Bit less self-conscious about his momma signing to him in front of others.

Because sign language is FUN for 6-year olds.  Heck, sign language is fun for all ages.  Including this particular 3-year old.  See?


(Standard apologies for the video voice apply)


I am blessed.


All of this parenting thing needs a lot of prayer.



I guess I just need a t-shirt for the rest of the world around me.




Allenspark Lodge said...

I love the t-shirt idea, but you need to get a matching one for your husband that says "I'm not deaf, I'm just ignoring you."

Walk hand in hand---too cute.


Brandi said...

Awww, Rach.

The coughing thing? Well, Mr. D's got your back. ;) Sometimes us hearing folk sleep right through the coughs too and that's one of those instances where having a nice spouse comes in handy.

The accent? SO-TO-THE-WHAT if he picks it up???! It's part of who you are and he LOVES you. Kids pick up lots of stuff from their parents (like my nieces and nephews and their hideously pronounced southern accents... Oh, hell. Did I say that out loud?). And it's better than some of the stuff kids can pick up from their parents. Just ask my 2yo who uses 'damn' in her daily vocabulary now.

And as for the lady in line at the checkout? Well, I can't even list how many times I've answered someone's question wrong like that simply because I wasn't listening. And, even worse, I DIDN'T CARE what they were saying. When I go to the store, I have total tunnel vision. I'm not there for gossip hour and I have never been very kind if someone tries to strike up a convo. At least you're a nice person. :)

Brandi said...

OH, OH, OH!!! I LOVE Bill's idea for Mr. D's shirt!!! LMBO!!!!!

Pam Bowers said...

Keep your chin up girl. Love the t-shirt idea and I ditto everything Brandi said. You're an amazing mother! Loved the video!

Dyannie said...


Dyannie said...

Oh, and PS--I think that I speak for us all when I lovingly yell at you, "RACHEL WE DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SOUND LIKE SO STOP APOLOGIZING!!!!"

You have no need to say sorry for something that you can't help. In fact, you have one of the most clear voices of any of the deaf people that I've known. No, you're not perfect. But guess what?


And for good measure, I'll add some more of these...


I love you. Knock it off.

Saimi said...

Hey sister, let's not be to hard on ourselves as mothers. I too have those mommy moments. Let see, Once my youngest was crying outside, I figured he was being dramatic so I ignored him. Poor boy came in the house holding his bloody head.

Hm, other child came up stairs in the middle of the night after he had thrown up all over himself and the bed and the floor. what was I doing...sleeping Yep and I'm not even deaf!

You are and AMAZING mother!!

I've taken sign classes and love them! I can talk to a three year old but that's about it.

GunDiva said...

Ask Monster how wonderful his hearing mother is. Twice he's broken bones and I've told him to suck it up - if it still hurt the next day, I'd take him to the doctor. TWICE.

As tasteless as Bill's idea is, I love it. :)

Candance said...

Okay, I will readily admit I wish I could ignore a coughing kid and someone else picked up the slack.

As far as picking up your "accent"-he's in freaking first grade. It's not the end of the world and he will outgrow it. I'm not saying speech therapy is a bad thing-I'm just saying everyone needs to calm the hell down. By the end of the school year, with or without therapy, he will be around more people who speak with the "accent" than with you and he will pick it up. This is the perfect age for him to learn. His teacher needs to chill.

Krulls in Haiti said...

This doesn't sound like a pity party, I have my own issues that I so wish I didn't pass on to my kids, but I do. Every parent does. Yours is different than mine, but I relate nonetheless. I like your heart, you are a good person.

Tamar SB said...

Oh Rachel,

I really hear (Okay, wrong word) you, but really, I have been there. You are the best mom and no matter what you are doing the most amazing job with that adorable little kiddo!!!

Anonymous said...

OK - just so's-ya-knows, I happen to LUV his voice - and thank you for reminding me how much I LUVD his 3yr old voice - still sounds like an Angel-boy to me!

Anonymous said...

God know, God understands, God cares, God walks the road with you :)

Isaiah 53:4
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows...

Shana Putnam said...

You are perfect. Be happy he picked up your accent because at least that means you loved him enough to teach him. He is loved and he is ok and you are an amazing mother, deaf or not!!!

Shana Putnam said...

And I love Bill's idea lol and we don't care what you sound like!

MrsMann said...

Everyone else already said it all. You are far too hard on yourself and apologize way too often to your bloggy friends. We love hearing your voice and its quite heart warming to hear a bit of it in him. He is well loved and cared for and he loves his life... you can see all of this all over his face in the pictures you share with us.

I just started sign language classes so that I can be more aware and accepting, and better able to help those around me.

stephanie said...

you are too hard on yourself. you are clearly doing an AMAZING job raising the little man and he is SO blessed to have you as a momma!

Discovery School at First Baptist Heath said...

well.. all i can say, after being the primary caregiver of my girls for their entire lives, the one who sat beside them after school everyday to "reteach" to the dylexic kids whom thy teacher did not have time to teach, the one who not only drives to softball practice to drop them off, but actually catches for them during pitcher practice, the parent that teaches "tween class" on Wed nights at church, and every sunday at children's church. Who rarely has time to blog, etc....When a teacher asked if I ever spent "time" with my kids, or was I too involved in my work?" I just had to laugh and be thankful that they were hard workers, that the treasure and understand that we all must work hard and we all have strengths and weakness', and that GOd has a plan for each of us....

Oh and I pulled them out of school !. is that for quality time.

Unknown said...

Ok. Everyone beat me to the punch. Amen to what they all said. And at least your kid isn't beating up people like I did...

Beth Zimmerman said...

His mommy loves him, wanted him, cherishes him, prays for him, teaches him to love Jesus and people ... not all of those kids in his class have that truth in their lives, Rachel! Itty Bit is greatly blessed!

If Itty Bit has a bit of his mommy's accent ... so what? So do children of immigrants! He also his mommy's eyes, his daddy's sense of humor, his family's love of life, and some day hopefully, his parents' faith!

And if he needs speech therapy ... it will be just one more thing he has in common with Josiah. And Josiah doesn't have deaf parents.

Finally ... you, dear girl, are the furthest thing from dumb!

Beth Zimmerman said...

P.S. I love Bill's t-shirt idea!

Foursons said...

I read Brandi's comment and she's right- on all accounts.

I had 2 speech delayed kids and we're fully hearing fully lingual parents. So who's to blame for that?

((hugs)) to you. I imagine you're feeling frustrated and a little bit sad, but I think you are a fabulous mom, wife, and woman and God has equipped you with everything you need.

Kmama said...

It has to be so hard at times. But everyone who knows you, knows you are doing the best dang job that you can do...and Itty Bit is an awesome little guy. That is all the proof needed!

Angel Shrout said...

There is absolutely nothing I can say that has not already been said.. well yeah I can. Tell the teacher to stick it. Because I am sorry I don't care who you are EVERYONE has an accent in their speech. It is inevitable. So what if he picked up yours, he is happy, loved and loves to laugh, smart and witty and she is just jealous that he has already been taught well at home.

Bethany said...

You're awesome, Rachel. You do know that? You're vulnerability and heart for others blesses me over and over.

I hope you're encouraged reading the comments before mine. God chose you to be Mr. D's wife and Itty's mom. Praying he blesses you with encouragement, hope and peace this day. Hugs, friend!

robin said...

I agree with what Brandi said! You ARE absolutely amazing! ...And your kiddo is bilingual! Phooey on the accent comment! :)

Stacy said...

Teaching sign language to the other kids is a GREAT idea! They will love it and better yet, they will understand why Itty Bit knows how to sign.

And give yourself a break. At least you have more of an excuse than the rest of us for being imperfect. We all have instances where we have failed as parents (failure all being relative...again, us Humans, we are not perfect). I can give you a long list, just from last week! ((((hugs))))

Danielle said...

I like Bill's shirt idea too. :)
I can't begin to imagine how rough it is to be a deaf parent. But it's fine, cause you're amazing anyway. And heck, when kids make that "most annoying sound ever" and dont stop? hmmm...maybe I just need earplugs for those moments ;)

Buckeroomama said...

I agree with what everybody else had said. You are an awesome mother. Never forget that. :)

How cool is that that you get to teach the kids sign language?! Itty Bit would be so proud of you.

Anonymous said...

Luv dat boy!

Furry Bottoms said...

Noooooooo not the accent part!! I groaned and dropped my head heavily when you brought that up. One of the fears of a deaf parent come to life.

That bang...bang....bang...bangbangbang is a constant occurrence in my house. And I am DUMB for watching my dogs freak out at the dryer or washing machine and wondering why?!

I taught my nephew's first grade class sign language and you're right, they totally DIG it. They really do.

I'm thinking that body language and facial expressions will conquer that accent worries in the long run. I watch my nieces and nephews and they all have GREAT expression skills. I pat myself on the back for that.

Anonymous said...

Just tell them you're from England :)

Emmy said...

Awe girl- I know you said you were not looking for sympathy and from reading your blog and knowing who you are I totally believe that-- but well I am still sending some your way. You truly truly amaze me at all you do and especially who you are.

I loved the video- and yes I am sure the kids at school would love learning more sign language

Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan Too said...

I can't imagine how difficult it must be, but you are an amazing mama and an amazing woman. I don't even know you in real life, but I can tell that through you're writing!

Kelly said...

We all pass not so great things into our kids. I was generous enough to give Cameron hereditary migrains AND the thickest southern drawl you will ever hear! Perks of living in the south. It feels really great when your husband and his friends are talking and the friends say ..."wow she sounds like a redneck"

But sometimes it's our differences that teach our children compassion, understanding , patience and uncontidional love.

I personally think the sign language idea is a great idea!! I've taken sign language classes ( like at church camp, and an informational session) several times and I loved it butch times!

Itty Bit is very lucky to have you as a mother...and BTW we've all missed something along the way. At lease with the cough you have an excuse ;). And lastly I often just smile and nod because I didn't quit catch what someone said... And i'm not deaf!

Amy said...

Im confused.... he can't sound like you? Why is that bad? I mean, God designed you perfectly so why is that not good enough for that sweet boy?

I mean, I get it... but I don't... ya know? Sorry I know that is about as clear as muddy water.

I LOVE HEARING YOU LADY, don't be so hard on yourself. Parenting, in all aspects is HARD. Consider this just one tiny bump in the road.

Love you!

Oh and yes to the shirt, but I am in agreement with Bill... the husband shirt is a MUST!!! LOL

Floortime Lite Mama said...

I would rather have you as my mother than a thousand other women with perfect hearing
HUgs - it must be very very hard
But just know that there are beautiful parts of you that have bloomed BECASUE of this disability your empathy and compassion

Unknown said...

I subbed in head start and had a little boy that pinched and kicked other children constantly. The teacher picked up her cell phone to call his father and the little boy laughed at her. "Go ahead n call, the police took my daddy this morning for beating up my mommy!" An accent is light compared to many of the things children pick up at home, and I am sure that he more than makes up for it in many other wonderful attributes he has gained. I love the responses you have received and agree wholeheartedly! Blessings!

Angie Vik said...

I can't count the number of times I've done things to my kids and loved ones that I wished I hadn't. I cringe to see my bad qualities mirrored in their lives. But I have to believe that God knew what He was doing when He assigned children to their parents. That He knows we aren't perfect and every parent is flawed in some way - that all of us are selfish by nature and with His help, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

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