Since Owen was born, I've been subjected to unsolicited advice, insensitive remarks, and genreral idiocy.
Some of my favorite moments:
Owen was around 2.5 years old and we were waiting at the pharmacy for a prescription. We were signing back and forth.
Our prescription was ready and the lady was checking us out.
Her: "I noticed you signing to your son."
Her: "Everyone is doing that nowadays. My daughter taught her son to sign when he was a baby, it was so cute".
Me: Pointing to his Bright Green Hearing Aids, "Actually, we're not doing it because it's trendy. He's Deaf."
I was sitting at the nurses station at work next to a doctor who was grumpily writing in charts. Across from us was an adorable 3 year old little girl interviewing an elderly resident. It was insanely cute and I was thoroughly enjoying their conversation.
The irritated doctor humphed and said to me;
"Can you imagine having to listen to that all day?"
I smiled and said to him;
"Not really. My son is that age, but he's Deaf and doesn't talk nearly that much. So, no. I can't really imagine listening to it".
Doctor Mcjerkoff turned a lovely shade of purple as he buried his head in a chart scribbling away.
I understand that Owen's feeding issues aren't easy for everyone to comprehend and I don't mind explaining why he's tube fed.
But, to all the people over the past 5 years who have said to me:
"Just don't give him any food in his tube. Once he's hungry enough, he'll eat":
How stupid have I been? The years of mouth exercises, swallow studies, desensitization, feeding therapy. All for nothing. All I had to do was starve the medically complex child and he would overcome his oral aversion, vocal chord paralysis, and aspiration risk and eat enough to sustain himself.
What a moron I've been.
And his poor feeding therapist, looks like she'll be out of a job.
I should call the feeding team at Children's and let them in on this breakthrough.
And my all time favorite.
To the toothless hick in the scooter behind me in line at WalMart:
Thank you, oh toothless one, for making me aware of the technological wonder that is the "Cochlea". That's what you said it was right? A new surgery that will restore my child's hearing? Why, I wonder, in the past 5 years of audiological evaluations, ORL exams, and contact with the Deaf Community, have I not heard of this miracle?
You are obviously a highly educated individual. I mean, you have figured out a way to avoid all those pesky dental bills.
I'm sure your medical knowledge is extensive as your dependence on the scooter is due to a metabolic disorder that causes you to weigh 400 pounds.
And your generosity extends beyond offering advice to mothers of 'special' children as evidenced by the Twinkies, Captain Crunch, and full sugar Coke in your cart that you are surely sending to the troops in Iraq.
I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't run into you today. As soon as I get home I'm getting on the phone to schedule his surgery for... what was it again? A Cochlea? I want to make sure I've got the name right.
I wouldn't want to sound stupid or anything.