November 17 at 09:30
Yesterday was my day off and rather brilliantly, for the first time in ages, it coincided with Friend Who Knows Big Words' day off. She has every Wednesday off to look after her three-year-old daughter — Mini C – and yesterday, I spent the day with them, too.
And what a brilliant day it was – we went to Kew Gardens and explored the log trail, spied the river through the trees and went in search of Queen Charlotte's Cottage. I introduced Mini C to the joy that is the Flight Radar app and we sat on a bench eating Hula Hoops while I told her which planes were coming in on the Heathrow flight path.
It was brilliant. But something was missing. And that was me being able to hear what Mini C was saying. When it was just us three and we are sat next to each other, I could mostly work out what she was saying. But when we were walking and talking, or climbing or running or doing anything that stopped my ability to lipread, I couldn't hear her at all.
It was so frustrating. Children that age are full of questions and love the interaction and Mini C was only getting in half from me. I missed her questions about the crocodile log, her pointing out something she'd seen her miniature vantage point and a lot of her general chit chat. It really did make me wish I could hear a bit more.
I always used to think that I didn't like children much. I found them hard to understand. But I love Mini C more than anything – she's amazing, brilliant, wonderful, fabulous and every other adjective under the sun.
I think what I don't like is that I can't hear children. I feel one step removed from them. From their chatter and questions. And I have no idea what to do about that.
Luckily however, it seems to bother me more than Mini C – who demanded that her ma send me a drawing she'd done for me via What's App just half an hour after we parted. Mini C seems completely at ease with my deafness – and that's what I am going to keep reminding myself.