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!

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