One of our Fights

In this post, I’m going to give you an insider’s glimpse into the dysfunction of my marriage and family.  You’d never discover this information unless we chose to share it, and most people would choose not to reveal these things about themselves.  But I think honesty (KIND honesty) is likely to be helpful!  And you’ll see the beauty of our marriage and family too.  And even if this does nothing for those who read it now, I want to document it for my kids.  Because this blog is for them… even though I hardly find time to write here anymore!

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Olson Tinies, someday, when you read this and are no longer tiny, you will be reminded that your parents fought when you were little.  We aren’t there yet, but I’m guessing it is a pretty sure bet that your parents fought when you were big too.  And of course you remember – you lived here while it happened!  When you remember that we fought/still fight, I hope you also remember that we came to find you afterward so we could talk to you about it.  Because the fears you imagine and the unknowns you cannot name are far more terrifying than whatever is really happening, and we know that.  So we told you what was going on, and even  more so as you got bigger and could understand.  You might also remember that you were welcome to weigh in, never during, but always after the fight once we told you about it.  And you did weigh in – you bravely pointed out how we both contributed to the problem, whatever it was.  And we talked about it.  If nothing else in this family, we TALK about things, don’t we?  That’s because we love each other.

The other day, Mommy and Daddy had a fight about vacuuming the van, or so it would appear.  But we never actually fight about things, issues, topics…  I can’t imagine that many people do.  If we look closely, we notice that we fight about people, specifically, we fight for people.  And most often, we fight for ourselves.  Some facet of our personhood is being questioned or damaged, and our feathers get ruffled, and we step up to fight!  Defend!  Set things right!  When we do this on behalf of someone else, it is a good thing.  When we fight for someone who cannot or will not fight for themselves, we are laying ourselves down and instead picking up the cause of someone because they matter.  They have value and we see it in them, even if they don’t see it in themselves.  We are so proud every time each of you has done that!  But when we fight on behalf of ourselves, our selfishness gets in the way and muddles things up.  Are we doing good?  Or just defending our pride?  It’s often hard to tell.

I called Daddy and told him that we were going to clean out the van after lunch.  It took a long time!  We emptied out all of the trash.  We collected all of the toys and artwork and random items that were worth keeping but had been forgotten in our van.  We took out the booster seats and CLEANED.  We used Clorox Wipes and worked on the windows and the cup holders and all the nooks that collect junk.  We even vacuumed with the wet/dry vac!  It took a long time, we did it in the hot sun, and we worked as a team.

I called Daddy again to tell him about our hard work.  The wet/dry vac hadn’t really done a thorough job, so I told him that we were going to take the van to a detailing place.  He immediately responded to a secret fear that cropped up – he didn’t want to spend money unnecessarily.  He didn’t know how hard we had worked and that the wet/dry vac wasn’t sufficient.  But without realizing it, he believed I was asking him to be flippant with money, and his feathers ruffled and he was not going to let that happen!  Instead of directly telling me that he was concerned about the money so that we could talk about it further, he started making various excuses about why we couldn’t and wouldn’t be taking our van to get vacuumed.  These excuses included questioning my credibility to make this decision, whether we had done good enough work in the first place and were just being lazy and passing it off to a professional instead of working hard ourselves, questions about cost, questions about whether their equipment was any better than what we had at home, and other things I don’t remember now.

That triggered two of my secret fears – I was being treated unfairly and someone considered me inferior when compared to them.  My feathers were ruffled and I set out to prove that of COURSE I knew what I was talking about and we WERE going to do this because I said so.  I systematically found the flaw in each random excuse Daddy listed, readily proved that this was doable, practical, and definitely going to happen, and even researched our community for places to take the van.  I found one, and they closed in 40 minutes.  This was a problem because I couldn’t drive the van over myself and leave you all at home (the booster seats were out and staying out until the vacuuming was finished) and Daddy would have to hurry home to switch vehicles, then hurry across town to get the van there before the business closed.  He didn’t think it could be done, and I decided that it had to be done and Daddy had to do it.

And I was making excuses too for why Daddy had to do it.  It did make more sense since I had all 3 of you home and no good way to get you there without reinstalling carseats that are time-consuming to install safely.  But those were excuses, because my real reason was that if Daddy didn’t take it there himself, he would question me again and I was tired of defending my intelligence and ability.  So he drove home, switched vehicles, made it in time, and got the van taken care of, all for a very reasonable price.

Since his real concern was spending money unnecessarily and that had been avoided AND the van was now beautifully vacuumed, he felt that resolution had been met when he got home.  However, since my real concern was that I was treated as an inferior, I was hurt and angry when he got home.  He wanted to know why I had been so crabby on the phone; I wanted to know why he thought it was okay to talk to me like I’m a moron who can’t think anything through for myself and needs to be told what to do.  I was crushed by his perception of me.

I did a lot of yelling.  To his credit, Daddy had already grown immensely in actually acknowledging the places that he was at fault, and he saw what really happened.  He saw that his fear about wasting money was more important to him than treating me respectfully and approaching this and every situation as partners.  He saw that his lack of trust in my ability to manage the details of our life was irrational and also damaging to me.  He saw that he makes up random crap to constitute excuses for why he doesn’t want to do something rather than just tell me his actual concerns.

Before Daddy got home and I yelled, I actually handled everything really well.  I showed myself to be a good household manager, I did the majority of the hard work with the help of my awesome kids, and I planned and executed the final piece.  But then I yelled.  And everything I said was true and applicable and I shared my feelings, but I was sinfully angry and more than willing to stomp on Daddy while trying to tell him that he is not allowed to stomp on me!  And no one should be stomping on anyone in this family.  I felt justified in my anger and I was defending my personhood and I was making sure Daddy knew he wouldn’t get away with treating me so badly, so I told myself that yelling was okay.  I believed that I could yell however much was “necessary” to make myself heard.  That’s a lie, and I believed it.

When we sat down to eat dinner (late, because you guys had to wait for us while we worked through all of that), we talked to you about it.  We explained that Daddy said some really mean things about us not doing good enough work on cleaning the van.  All 3 of you were rightfully offended, and you said various versions of, “Daddy!  That is not nice to say!  We did a GREAT job!  The vacuum couldn’t get everything, but we still tried really hard!”  And Daddy apologized and you said it was okay and Daddy said, “It’s not okay, but I’m really glad that you forgive me.”  When we prayed before we ate, one of you asked God to help you not be so mad at Daddy for saying something rude.  And I was struck by how I should have prayed that exact thing back before I started yelling!  We learn so many things from our amazing kids.

We also explained that I had been yelling a lot at Daddy about what he said, which you knew, so you all nodded and agreed that my yelling was a bad choice and not okay either.  And Daddy said that he is working on being a partner and not trying to be in charge of everything and take over and tell other people that they can’t do good work unless he does it for them.  And I said that I am working on talking about things without yelling, because that makes things much worse instead of better.  You nodded your support of us and our need to work on the areas where we sinned.

And then the most amazing thing happened.  You listened and understood the situation first, and then you graciously joined us.  One of you kids pointed out that you were working on whining.  One of you was working on being okay with not being perfect and accepting your mistakes.  And one of you was working on obeying.  After we had all shared because you were willing to be vulnerable too, Rissa said, “See!  We ALL have things that we are working on!”  And that was that.  We’re a mess, we’re working on it, it’s hard, but we’re in this together.

And that’s why we come and explain things to you kids.  Yes, it is important for you to know that our family has a real marriage where Mommy and Daddy make real mistakes.  And we need to admit those to each other and to you, because you have to live with the consequences of our bad choices too.  But you also have incredible insight into your own hearts as well as the workings of our family.  And you model partnering to us by being vulnerable and joining us when we admit our wrongs.  And we model partnering to you by coming to you as your parents and acknowledging our wrongs.  And then we all grow.

The very next day, someone prayed at dinner, “Thank you, God, that we have such a nice family.”  I don’t always think of us a nice family.  We are fun… we are real… we are loving and snugglebugs… we are a disaster in many ways… we are a mess… we are constantly working on it… but nice?  That sounds like a distant future version of us when we have all of these problems handled and are better able to deal with our life!  And I worry that we’ll never actually get there, wherever there is.

But hearing one of you pray that and knowing that you experience us as a nice family, despite the fight that happened only 24 hours prior and the rest of the craziness that goes on around here – that floored me.  I realized that God HAS given us a nice family because He has given us one another and Himself too!  We are so very blessed to have a Mommy, a Daddy, a Zach, a Rissa, and a Nathaniel!  We are exactly what each other needs and also what each other has always wanted.

Yes, there will be more fights.  But we’ll keep talking about it and working on it.  And there will always be love here.  We’ll learn and grow, and we’ll do it together.  That’s Mommy and Daddy’s promise to one another and to each of you.

Ear Piercing

I got my nose pierced for my 35th birthday.  We called it my “midlife crisis” and celebrated that I had come of age to legitimately have a midlife crisis!  My poor mom did not find out about this until she saw me a good 7 months later!  (Oops, forgot to blog about it until now!  This is partially because I am crazy busy and also because loading pictures onto this blog has become massively difficult and even more time-consuming than it already was!  Rawr!)  I had been wanting to pierce my nose since my 32nd birthday, but what if it was just a phase?  I opted to get my nose pierced when I turned 35 if I still wanted to do it.  It was NOT a phase, and I now happily sport a super-cute sparkle over my right nostril!  My piercings now total 4 – both ears pierced at age 13, a second hole in my left ear at age 17, and a nose piercing at age 35.  It was crazy to figure out that there were EIGHTEEN years between my last 2 piercings… I had doubled my life-length in between!

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Ever since her tiny days, Rissa has been very interested in that store in the mall that has a giant teddy bear sitting in a chair right near the entrance… next to the ear-piercing station.  One time when she was 2 or 3, we were walking past Claire’s on our way to the mall playground, and a family was about to have the second ear of their newborn daughter’s ears pierced.  Both Zach and Rissa were extremely concerned about what was happening, so I explained that the baby was going to get earrings and was scared because it is like getting a shot in your ear.  Zach announced that he was NEVER getting his ears pierced!  Rissa strongly objected to ear piercing because she was so concerned for that baby!  I showed them my earrings and explained the process, and my tiny daughter actually thanked me for not piercing her ears when she was a baby.  Making choices has always been a theme in our home, and she and Zach were both adamant that they should get to make their own choice about piercings!  Rissa said she didn’t want to do that until she decided she was ready.  And just like that, it was settled – Rissa would get her ears pierced when she was ready!  I was thrilled with this, because I wanted my ears pierced for a good 5 years before my mom finally caved when I was 13, and I had no intention of making my daughter wait so long.

Fast forward through the next few years when Rissa eyed that teddy bear in the chair every time we walked past Claire’s on our way to the playground.  She regularly told me that shots were ouchy and she did not want to get shots in her ears!  And that was fine.

Right around her 5th birthday, Rissa told me that she was thinking about getting her ears pierced.  Matt felt that she was too young… I was committed to allowing her to make the decision.  I reviewed the process with her and she said that she was very interested, but not yet ready “in case it was too ouchy.”  Perfect; we are happy to wait!  When she turned 6, I got my nose pierced and all members of our household were profoundly aware of how painful it is to wipe your face with a towel after you get out of the shower and catch your nose ring and yoink it out of your face… and then have to get it back in!  I think watching my healing process put her consideration on hold.  Around Christmas last year, Rissa said, “Mom, why don’t you ever let me get my ears pierced???”  I was flabbergasted!  We talked about it and I told her that Daddy and I knew she would know when she was ready to do it.  She could tell us it was time, and then we would talk about it.  I reminded her that if she didn’t tell us she was ready, then we were happy to wait until she was.  “Oh,” she said.  And then she didn’t mention it for 6 months.

A few weeks ago, despite all of our efforts to hold off until she was ready, I brought up the topic.  I had purchased some really cute, little-girl-appropriate earrings for her at a sale at Christmas because I assumed we’d be doing this soon.  I hoped to give them to her for her 7th birthday, but that would be pointless if she didn’t already have her ears pierced!  So I asked if she was still thinking about it, and she said she was.  A few days later, she talked to me about it and said that she was ready to get her ears pierced and could we go right now?  I told her that we would talk about it some more and that I was sure that Daddy would want to be there.  She smiled and nodded and said we should definitely wait for him.  And then the topic disappeared again.

Today, we all went to the mall to eat lunch before we ran some errands as a family.  As we wandered toward the food court, Rissa casually asked, “Can I get my ears pierced while we are here?  Because, you know, we are HERE…”  Matt and I agreed to talk about it with her and with one another while we ate lunch.  We chatted extensively – I reminded her about the process and that it would hurt for a little bit and then stop hurting.  We also asked her why she wanted to get her ears pierced and reviewed what counted as a good reason and what counted as a bad reason.  (Wanting to wear jewelry in your ears and being responsible enough to keep track of tiny possessions like earrings without losing them are good reasons; doing it because your friends have done it is a bad reason).  She assured us of what we already knew – that she had been thinking about this for a long time and had finally decided she was ready.

We considered having a waiting period where she demonstrated her ability to keep her belongings in their designated places to prove that she can be trusted with small possessions and not leave them around the house or lose them.  Rissa pulled out her excellent negotiation skills and suggested that since she had to wear the first earrings for 6-8 weeks, she could get her ears pierced today and then spend those weeks proving that she was ready to be responsible with more pairs of earrings.  She also stated that if there was a line at the piercing chair or if they did not have a teddy bear for her to hold, she was NOT doing this today.  “I would say, ‘no way!’ and wait until I was 13 if I didn’t get to hold the teddy bear!”  Well, that sounds ridiculously reasonable… how did she even come up with something so agreeable to us???  Matt and I knew that if she could think this through so carefully for all of this time and then come up with her own plan to show how responsible she was, then she was obviously ready!

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Rissa was a SUPERSTAR of courage!  She hardly flinched and was all smiles.  “It hurts, but it’s not too bad.”  She was so brave!

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Nathaniel has now decided that when he grows up, he is going to get HIS ears pierced so that he can have a lollipop!  Zach continues to remain adamant that he will never pierce his ears.  We assured them that there are plenty of opportunities to get lollipops – after haircuts, sometimes after dance class, at parades… no piercings required!  We also talked about how Pastor Allen has an earring (just one), and that some boys get their ear pierced.

“Cool!  But that’s not my thing,” says Zach.
“Me neither,” says Matt.
“Cool, Dad!  That’s another thing that we are the same about!”  Zach is quite proud to be Matt’s mini-me!
“I’m gonna do that when I get big.  I’m gonna go see Raya… I wike her name… and have her do my ears and give me a wowwipop!” says Nathaniel.

I guess we’ll see how many more piercings are in the Olson Five’s future!

The Secret Truth About Trying Harder

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Little by little, day by day, we write truth on each other’s hearts!
Deut. 6: 4-9: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

I was driving all 3 kids somewhere and decided to address a concern with one of them.  Sometimes, I talk to them privately and one-on-one, but if it won’t be embarrassing and everyone could benefit from the discussion, it helps to do it with all 3 of them present.

We talked about the problem behavior and I asked, “Why did you do that?”

As usual, my child answered, “I don’t know.”

That’s an honest answer.  I can’t always explain the reasons I make a bad choice either.  Neither could the apostle Paul in Romans 7:

15 I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.  20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;  23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.  24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?  25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

I explained to my child that I think the problem is that their heart is selfish.  They want to do whatever they want to do, and that means that sometimes they disobey even though they should obey.

My sweet child said, “Well, I’ll obey now.  And I’ll stop disobeying.  I’ll try harder.”

And then it occurred to me to tell them a truth I often forget to portray.  Trying harder doesn’t work.  The selfishness in our hearts doesn’t go away when we try harder to be selfless.  It is easy and commonplace to say, “You need to try harder, do better.  You can do it!”

But I’ve been discovering that trying harder doesn’t make me better and I can’t do it.  No matter how good I try to be, Romans 7:21 rings true:  “Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”  The evil is inside my heart.  That same evil of choosing self over good is inside my child’s heart too.

So I spoke truth to all 3 of my children, perhaps for the first time on this topic.  “Trying harder doesn’t work, honey.  Because your heart will still want to be selfish.  What you need to do is let God change your heart.  You can choose to listen to Him, and He will remind you when to obey.  And He can change your heart so that you actually want to obey.”

I don’t know if that made sense, and I didn’t get to pursue it further because we had arrived at our destination and gotten out of the car.  I’ll need to tell this truth again.  I think the lesson today was that *I* needed to tell the truth.  The truth that just working harder isn’t successful.  Right now, my kids are already bent toward being people-pleasers.  They want to do the right thing and make others happy.  And they don’t want to get in trouble.  So they won’t hear that truth and think, “Woohoo!  I don’t have to try at all!”  We DO have to try.  And they know that.  But we can’t expect our efforts to be enough to fight the evil that is already in our hearts, constantly suggesting that we choose ourselves.  And we can trust that the voice of God, no matter how quiet, will speak the truth.  “I’ll help you.  I’ll soften your heart.  I’ll forgive your sin.  I’ll help you turn toward Me.  I’m here.”

Puerto Rico Storybook

The kids are beginning to notice my patterns.  When Matt and I told them that we were going to go on a trip to Puerto Rico, they asked, “Can you make us a book?  Like the other times you go on trips… you know, the books that you make?”  Aww, they remembered!  Why yes, Sweethearts, of course I can!  It was already on my to-do list, but I can’t tell you how meaningful it is to your mommy that you requested it on your own!

This will be the first time both of us are away from the kids for more than one day.  We’ve each taken a 2-3 day trip several times, but always one at a time.  But in just over a week, we will be leaving for sunny Puerto Rico for 9 days by ourselves!  Sometimes I worry that our kids will struggle during that time.  Then I think I might struggle if I think they are struggling.  Then I remember that I’ll be in the Caribbean, my heart’s home, and that someday, I can take them there with me.  I think the beaches and the sunshine and the daily coconut/pineapple/mango deliciousness will help me cope!  And the lack of responsibility and plenty of relaxation will help Matt cope.  And my parents will help the kids cope, because they are staying with them while we are gone!  It’s a double gift – they send us to Puerto Rico and they handle the Tinies while we are gone!  I may have said, “Okay, this will be during the kids’ Spring Break.  So… you guys understand that none of them nap anymore… right?  Well, Nathaniel does twice a week or so… you’re lucky if you get a third day…”  And they said, “WHAT?”  Yeah, good luck with that!  There are reasons why I am always so exhausted!  I’m sure the kids will be as delightful and BUSY as always.

This morning, I made the book to give myself a mental health hour.  Sometimes, you need an hour to sit and create and feel productive and successful.  For me, today was that day.

Puerto Rico (1)

Puerto Rico (2-3)

Puerto Rico (4-5)

Puerto Rico (6-7)

Puerto Rico (8-9)

Puerto Rico (10-11)

Hearing Exam

Because the twins arrived early at not-quite-5 and just-over-5 pounds, we were programmed to be particularly cautious with them.  If preemies come in contact with certain germs, they could die.  If preemies spend more energy eating than they receive from the food eaten, they could die.  It is unnerving, to say the least!

Because Nathaniel was a monstrously huge 8.5 pound baby who plugged himself into food with or without assistance and was happy and easy, we calmed down.  We invested in hand sanitizer and tried to wash the twins regularly so that their exploratory toddlers selves wouldn’t contaminate their baby brother before he was ready.  But we never worried that Nathaniel was going to die.  It was so refreshing!

I’ve been in phobia shock therapy for the past 6.5 years.  Nowadays, boogers, diapers, vomit, and unexplainable stains don’t even phase me, so long as they belong to *my* children.  (Your kid’s dirty band-aid will still creep me out. 🙂 )  I have grown SO much!  I don’t spend time worrying about the what ifs that may or may not happen… I’m too busy handling the what dids!  I approach life with a relatively new sense of calm.  I’m not really handling it, but I’ve learned that it, whatever it may be, can’t be handled.  Not by me, not by anyone.  So God is going to stay on top of His game, and I’ll just settle in and put my seatbelt on.

Unless you mess with one of my kids.  Obviously.  But that is a rarity, so generally, I’m assuming the best and chugging along.

Nathaniel’s cute 2 year old speech patterns persisted well beyond the normal phase, so I took him in for an evaluation a good 6 months after I probably should have.  Which happened because of my “it’s all good” attitude, and is fine because of my “it’s all good” attitude.  Switching out your k’s for t’s and your g’s for d’s makes everything cuter.  “Mommy, peas I have a tootie?” makes me want to bake tooties daily!  It’s hard to see a problem when everything is cuter!  I finally took him in at age 3, and yes, he needed speech therapy.  Oh well, live and learn.  He’s been in therapy for about 10 months now.  Miss Michele the Magician has procured the k, g, sh, ch, and j sounds out of thin air from my son.  Literally.  She loves him, he loves her, and sounds are happening.

He can do everything when directed, but he hasn’t been generalizing his new skills to everyday conversation.  It’s always wise to do a hearing test with kids who have difficulty with sounds because if they aren’t hearing the full spectrum, they are going to have a harder time producing the full spectrum of sound.  He passed his newborn hearing screening and his preschool physical, but screenings are very minimal and don’t identify problems unless they are already pretty pronounced.  I had an inkling in my mind that we should do some more extensive testing, just to be sure.

Miss Michele the Magician agreed and pointed out that he talks REALLY loudly.  Oh crap.  He totally does.  I called my pediatrician to get a referral.  We finally got in to see the audiologist today.  Having a degree in audiology myself, I know too much to be calm.  But I was forcing the calm.  If he has hearing loss… and we didn’t identify it until he is 4… he’ll probably never recover… and then he’ll die!  Oh goodness, there’s that preemie mindset again!  No!  He’s fine.  It’s all good!  Augh!  I hate arguing with myself internally while I try to hold it together!  But I know that the hearing function and the kidneys form in utero at the same time… so if we do find hearing difficulty showing up at such an early age, we’re going to need to look at his kidneys, and who knows what else… it’s stressful to know too much.

I’ll save you the panic and announce here that his hearing is fine.  Whew!  Now I’ll walk you through my panic today.

The audiologist used her otoscope to take a look at Thanny-man’s ears.  He knows all about otoscopes because he has one at home to check Arf-Arf with his little vet clinic medical kit.  Then she put a sensor in each ear to measure the eardrum’s movement.  Right ear, perfect.  Left ear, moved but not very much.  I plastered a smile on my face and went on an internal mental frenzy.  “He’s only had 2 ear infections but not until age 3, they were a few weeks apart, whoa, they WERE in the left ear… oh my gosh, he has scar tissue from the infections and his eardrum can’t vibrate, no wonder I was concerned, oh my gosh, oh my gosh…”  The audiologist pointed out that since his eardrum does vibrate, that’s great.  They don’t have to match, they just both have to do something.  I flashed my plaster smile and tried to stay calm.

We reviewed whether there is early hearing loss in Nathaniel’s family history… yep, there is.  “Interesting, well, let’s keep investigating how he does.”  AUGH!

Having given quite a few hearing tests myself in order to complete that requirement of my grad school training, I sat and stewed while my sweet Bub sat perfectly still in the chair inside the sound booth and did everything the audiologist asked of him.  Instead of headphones, she placed tiny sponge inserts in each ear to measure his response to even the quietest sounds.

He kept having trouble with his left ear – she would play a beep and he didn’t hear anything, and always on the left.  I kept plaster smiling and starting choosing a hearing aid color (should we do orange or blue?  he can pick…) in my mind and reviewing our pediatrician’s specialization in kidneys and what we should do next.  Meanwhile, the left ear’s sponge kept popping out.  She came into the booth, put it back in, and then they moved on… more difficulty, followed by the sponge spontaneously removing itself from Thanny’s ear.  On the third try, she got it in there securely enough that it stayed.  And despite my worst fears, he heard everything perfectly on the left after that!

We still don’t know why his speech sounds haven’t responded to therapy more quickly, but it is NOT because of hearing loss.  Because he doesn’t have any.  Whew!

When she showed me his audiogram, I nearly cried – there were the results on paper – both ears performing perfectly.  Yes, his left eardrum vibrates differently than his right, but he understands the speech sounds spoken around him and hears them clearly – with BOTH ears.  Thanny picked out a sticker, I calmed down and thanked the audiologist for her time, and we headed home.  Not only are my son’s ears perfectly adorable, they are also perfectly functional!

Take a tip from me:  don’t stay in that stage of thinking required for preemies, where you have to assume everything is going to fall apart any second.  And if you do manage to climb out of that and into the “it’s all good” calm that I’ve been enjoying for the past few years, don’t fall back into the “bad news always equals DEATH” mentality.  I’ve had to work hard to escape that – our preemies really were very fragile and we really did have to be ridiculously cautious.  But those days are OVER and it is not useful to backtrack to such a scary mindset!

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