He loves airplanes, helicopters, cars and trucks, too. He always is the first to hear them flying above or driving by. Maybe we’re too used to it, and he just appreciates and notices the noises, the sights. He loves the birds. He hears them chirps and looks around to find where they are.
On Wednesday I walked into his preschool classroom to pick him up, and he didn’t come running like he usually does. His teacher said his name to tell him I was there, but he didn’t look up. I walked over stopping several feet before him and said his name, but he didn’t look up. He was happy- playing with a bus and ball. He was sharing and sitting with a friend. It was a sweet sight to see. But he didn’t even look up to our multiple attempts to get his attention.
He can’t hear.
Last weekend we left him at my parents’ house for a few hours. When we walked in he didn’t turn around. He didn’t notice us. Even when we said hi. Usually he hears the door open and jumps up right away. This was different.
We found out at the ENT’s office on Tuesday that his left ear drum isn’t moving at all. Meaning he can’t hear out of his left ear at all. But we’ve been down this road before. This isn’t new. The first time was very scary. We found out Jack couldn’t hear and then were left with all kinds of questions wondering if it was permanent, why it happened, how or if it could be fixed.
The great thing about a great doctor is that they explain it all to you. Jack’s hearing improved some on its own in the spring when the fluid cleared. Then it was fully restored when he had tubes placed in May. We know this time that it’s only temporary. It will be fixed soon enough, and Jack will hear again.
And I tell him that things will get better soon. I tell him that the doctors are going to fix it soon so that he’ll be able to hear again. I wonder if it scares him. Does it bother him that he can’t hear like usual? Is he frightened? I try to explain it, but I don’t know if that does any good. He is 18 months after all. But all too often, I think he’s too little, to young to understand, when he isn’t. So now we do our best– we repeat words more than usual, we look him in the eyes when we ask him something to be sure he hears [which is probably something I should be doing anyway], and we point out the things he misses. Gotta make sure we still see all those airplanes.