Thursday, 21 July 2011


One of my favourite things about being a grown up is being able to make my own choices. To say no to something I don't want to do. To not have to pretend I like something, or someone, that I don't.
Recently a friend asked me if I would take William camping. Now, I spent a LOT of my childhood camping and it's not like it was hell or anything but I am certainly in no rush to do it again. Especially now I can say no if I so choose. What a lovely feeling that is.

I also like it from a parenting point of view. I love that I only have to dress my child in clothes I like, let him play with toys I feel are appropriate (and that don't annoy me - cue exit of anything too noisy or with small pieces), send him to a school I want him to go to etc etc. Because that's what good parenting is right? Making the right choices on behalf of your bundle of joy.
But I am learning that there are some choices that are not mine to make. William, like his mother, was born pretty much bald...

And since he has been wearing hearing aids I have been DESPERATE for it to grow. Desperate for a long, luscious head of hair on my baby's head to cover up his hearing aids. To stop people staring, to stop people asking questions. To stop that suffocating shame that we touched on before. But is that my choice to make? Is it my place to cover up something that makes our William who he is? Who is that choice for? Me or him?

More so, recently I have realised that even now, already, at the tender age of just 14 months William is making his own choices. The most frustrating one is his refusal to wear his hearing aids. They are in a second, if that before they get pulled out. They don't hurt him, they aren't uncomfortable, he just doesn't want to wear them. The professionals we see say he is 'asserting his independence'. That it is the same as him refusing to wear shoes, or a hat. Except if he doesn't wear shoes or a hat his whole life I don't care. You can't reason with a one year old, especially one that can't hear. How can you sign 'but darling, if you don't wear your hearing aids the brain paths that you need to formulate speech won't form and we only have until you are 2 to create them so it's really important that you wear them now'. I get cross. After repeatedly putting them in and watching them get pulled out over and over and over, and over. I lose my temper. It's not his fault, he doesn't understand how important they are. And that's the crux if it really. He doesn't understand. And because of that it's one choice I am determined to make for him. He will wear his hearing aids and he will learn to talk. And he will learn sign language. And then when he does understand he can make his own choice of which language he would like to use. Because that's what good parenting is. Making the best choice you know how, with the information available at the time.

As for the hair, I don't really have a choice because it still won't grow!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011


My recent blogs have all been a bit serious (something I rarely am) so I thought it was time to brighten it up with some recent cupcake adventures...

Record cakes for Shaun's step Dad's 60th birthday

His face on a record

Blossom cupcakes for the end of term

The world always feels like a better place after a cupcake (or two!).

Monday, 18 July 2011

Puzzle Pieces

The thing is, you see, we fit together. Perfectly. It gets me every time.

Don't get me wrong, he drives me insane at times. The way his idea of looking for something is glancing in the vague direction it might be and giving up. The way he doesn't hear his alarm until it has woken me and the baby and I have kicked him to tell him so. The way he doesn't listen. The way when I pull him up for not listening he repeats back word for word what I have just said. I could go on...

But then there is how he gets up in the night to tend to the baby (once I have kicked him to tell him he's crying). How he doesn't buy me flowers on my birthday or Valentines day but on random days to surprise me. How he tells me he loves me when I want to hear it and when I don't. His patience. His intelligence. His affection. I could go on...

I am not a romantic, I do not believe in fate or soulmates or 'the one'. But I know that Shaun and I fit. And at the end of the day that's all that really matters.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Such a shame

I feel like I need to point out that I love my son. To me he is everything. He is the smartest, funniest, cheekiest, most handsome boy there ever has been. And I love him more than I ever thought it was possible to love anyone. And now this is the part I say 'and I wouldn't change him for the world'. But I would. I wouldn't change his temper, or his fierce determination, or his need to throw half his lunch on the floor and I wouldn't change his beautiful ginger hair even though I lose sleep over worrying about him being bullied at school.

What I would change is the fact he can't quite hear what we can. He's not profoundly deaf, just partially. This is supposed to inspire some kind of hope in me. 'He has got some hearing though' people say. As if that makes it better. As if that means that just part of my heart is broken, not all of it. Even if he does learn to talk, he might talk 'funny'. He might sound like a deaf person, because that's what he is. He already doesn't babble like other children his age. It's more of a grunt. He will never be able to listen to an iPod without everyone else listening to it with him. He can't play sport because what is 'wrong' with him will get worse if he hits his head. No rugby, no American Football and soccer only if he wears a helmet. He will be that kid that wears a helmet in PE. He will be that kid who wears hearing aids. He will be that kid whose iPod is laughable loud. He will be that kid that talks funny. He will be that kid who doesn't hear the mean comments the other kids make about him.

When I think about all of these things, and the hundred more that cross my mind every time I look at my beautiful baby boy I feel ashamed. Ashamed of his hearing aids. Ashamed of his funny sounding babbling. Ashamed of the fact he is deaf. I am so very very ashamed. And then I feel ashamed of being ashamed of someone so very wonderful. But it's not him I am ashamed of. It's myself. I am so ashamed that I gave him less of a chance at life than any other child. I failed him from the beginning. Denied him a world of experiences.

Now I know that you are all screaming 'but it's not your fault!' and you may well be right. Despite a barrage of tests, we still don't know why William has dilated vestibular aqueducts. Perhaps we never will. But the facts of the matter are that I built him and even though I can see in my head that it is not my fault and nothing I did or did not do would have made any difference, in my heart I will never ever be able to forgive myself for letting my baby down.

Monday, 11 July 2011

The trouble with decking

Today was the third week in a row that I have lost something between the decking at playgroup. Week one it was my phone. It slipped out my pocket and right through the gap. Shock horror. The caretaker was called and with lots of huffing and puffing (and I'm pretty sure he was mad enough to have blown my house down if he knew where it was) he lifted the deck and rescued it. I laughed. Week two it was a kiddy-clip (a device to stop children from losing their hearing aids if they fall out) that wasn't mine. Luckily the Mum didn't need it and so didn't call the wolf back again. We laughed. This week it was William's right hearing aid. This week I cried. There are so many hard things about having a child with a hearing impairment but I sometimes think the hardest thing of all is the practical side of hearing aids. Putting them in. Keeping them in. Checking if the battery works. Re-tracing steps looking for them after they have been thrown out of the pushchair, sometimes in the pouring rain or howling wind. Sometimes for hours. Watching my son even closer than you watch any child. Putting something in his hand as soon as it goes towards his ear. Using every ounce of energy to play games and sing songs and keep his attention away from the aids. Finding half a hearing aid and panicing about the trip to the hospital to have the other part pumped out if his stomach. Or the vet to do the same to the cat.

Yep, the hardest thing about having a hearing impaired child is the practical side of the hearing aids. Or perhaps it's just because they represent all the guilt, fear, distress, concern, anxiety, and self hatred that is there bubbling under the surface of a Mum who doesn't understand why this happened to her baby.

Sunday, 10 July 2011


I love baking cakes and in recent years have found myself making more decorative elaborate cakes for friends and family. I am not very good at this type of baking. Better than someone who is really no good but not nearly as good as a professional. Anyway, this cake is the best yet. I LOVED making it and it turned out beautiful (even if I do say so myself).