Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thunder Stealing

I was the baby of the family for four years before my sister - we'll call her Muffy, 'cause that's her name -  came along.  I was pissed at Muffy for stealing my baby of the family thunder for most of our childhood.

I did mean things like throw her stupid My Little Ponies in the garbage when it was my Saturday chore to empty the wastebaskets from the bedrooms. 

I eventually told her that I'd done it.  We're all grown up now and she forgives me.  Sort of.

She got Bea a My Little Pony for her birthday.  We both thought it was hysterical.

Today is Bea's actual 4th birthday.

She stumbled downstairs this morning to "Happy Birthday!" greetings from Al and myself.

Owen, still peeved that she stole his thunder four years ago, when he was almost four, shouted at us all;

"No!  Her birthday on nineteen! (pointing at calendar).  Not! Today!  Nineteen!"

Explanations that yes, her party was then, but her actual birthday today, were met with grumbles and foot stomps.  Quick to diffuse smoldering sibling hatred resentment tension, I reminded Owen that today we would be going to the Children's museum with Deaf friend Ricky and long time friend Lil.

We were on the road early, but not before I could snap a quick photo of birthday girl in outfit of her choosing:

Sweet fancy Moses get a load of this chick; doing the Tree Pose no less.

Kids were mostly jerks just fine at museum. The only Another couple good shots:

They were almost passed out by the time we got home.

Just in time for the real birthday thunder pilfering to begin.

Owen. Got. A. Fucking. Video. Phone.

Al was right on time. I'd assumed he was Deaf from his emails, something about the way he structures his sentences, I could tell.  And as he was coming up the walk toward the door where I was waiting, he gave me a wave that let me know for sure.  Deaf.

So I greeted him in sign, introduced Owen, Bea, friends Jen and Lil who were hanging out for afternoon.  Told him it was Bea's birthday.  Sort of signed frantically for a minute or two before he could get a chance to speak.

Yes.  Speak.  Not great.  But enough that I didn't have to rely on understanding his signing.


I signed to him.  He spoke to me.  Perfect.

The process of getting the video phone set up did involve Al and I dragging an old TV up from the basement and setting it up in the playroom, as he said it was nice to have a TV devoted to the phone so as not to interrupt TV viewing.

We chatted while he plugged in wires and tested internet connections:

"You're wondering why I speak so well right?  I am completely Deaf you know."

Born Deaf in Ohio (in the late 50's I'd guess), he'd gone to an all Oral school until he was in Jr. High when he started to learn sign.  So he'd had intensive speech therapy;  it worked.  For never hearing a sound in his life, I understood his speech just fine.  He'd never learned to read lips very well though, and relied solely on sign for comprehension.

He asked about Owen.  I gave him the quick explanation:

"Born sick.  Antibiotics.  A lot.  Hearing gone."

He asked if it was known that antibiotics would have this effect on his hearing. I told him yes they knew but;

"Dead or Deaf.  Pick one.  Deaf better."

He laughed and agreed. 

Fiddling, tinkering, chatting, and video phone was ready to go.  Owen's only friend from school who already has one is a four year old girl Riley.  They were ready for our call to test it. I'm a dumbass and thought I was filming that interaction, but wasn't.  It was cute anyway.

Here is a quick picture that I managed before I blew it with the Flip:

And here, if you can stand the cuteness, is Owen and Al talking to a tech, getting the account set up.  I'd never seen Owen sign his address before.  I almost fucking cried.

eta: the video isn't broken, there is nothing to hear, they're all signing.

And?  A little thunder rolled my way when tech told Owen how lucky he is that his Mommy signs, as I had to give him some information.  Tech was of course Deaf, and of course adorable.

He can't wait to talk to his friends with it.  Daddy called, and using the interpreter was able to talk to him; he was tickled but really wanted to talk to Ricky, and Nolan, and Trinity.

Owen cried the other night when Trinity called him, he wouldn't even take the phone from me;

"I can't hear her!"

I called and left a message with her parents that they NEED to get her one of these phones. 

They're free ya know.  Well not really.  You all pay for them.  Look on your phone bill.  Thanks by the way.

Bea was curious about the whole thing, prancing around in front of the TV, watching herself on the screen.  Owen was all business;

"Is for me Bea.  For Deaf.  Why?  I can't hear my friends on the phone.  Is mine.  Not yours."

Sorry Bea.  Sucks to be the normal kid with no cool gadgets eh?

And?  Muffy's birthday is in March.

I'm totally getting her a  My Little Pony for her 34th.


  1. I am so glad to know that all those fucking fees on my bill go for something worthashit!

  2. I like the part where you said that we all pay on our phone bills. Glad I could help out if the money from a different state goes to you guys! Every cent is worth it because of the photo of Owen talking to his friend.....and the photo under that? Didn't load and isn't working for me...grrr

  3. Wait. Am I paying for this shit, too?

  4. What Susan said. And yes, I'm waiting for the thunder stealing too...The Dude's birthday will be within 2 weeks of Mads. dammit.
    And that phone: AWESOME!

  5. Happy birthday! Your daughter has the same exact fashion sense as mine, I see.

    Also, I have about eleventy billion my little ponies I could send your way. Or Muffy's way..

  6. So that's what the fuck I've been paying for on my fucking phone bill all these years. Totally. Fucking. Worth. It.

    Happy Birthday Bea!!!!!

  7. Hey, Bea girl, I've got that same outfit on, too.

    And standing in the tree pose, no less (cuz my butt falls asleep from all the sitting I do)

    Hoorah! to owen and his new video phone. I love it.

    And, you're welcome, dear sweet thing.

    I've never been so happy to go in on a group gift in my life.


  8. I am really glad that I pay for this. :)

  9. Double my fees! It's worth it to support that much wonderful.

  10. I'm curious how the interpreter part works, if you wouldn't mind explaining. I know how it works with calling through the regular phone with the relay service, but how does it work on the video phone? Are there video relay interpreters? 'Cause that would be wicked cool!

    Regarding My Little Ponies, my kid has this Pony Paradise:

    which I would *gladly* box up and mail to you to give to your sister, because it drives me batshit crazy. The "song" (and I use the term verrrrry loosely) that it plays is the earworm from HELL. Sadly, whenever my kid plays with her MLPs (which isn't that often anymore, really), she drags this plastic, spinning torture device out and turns it on.

    Oh, and the butterfly antennae on the top *rotate* AND you can dangle ponies from them via this plastic clippy thing that a child with fine motor issues cannot connect properly herself, forcing Mommy to have to go into the room with the damn thing and fix it for her, thereby jamming that earworm in another few inches deeper into the memory bank. *shudder*

    Lastly, on the topic of birthday thunder stealing? *My* birthday thunder was stolen by Baby Jesus. Yep, I was born less than 2 weeks before Christmas. Le sigh. Combo birthday-Christmas presents were the bane of my childhood.

  11. Happy Birthday Bea!! I was the baby for 5 years before my stupid brother came along. I tried to shoot him once but the dresser got it instead. Throwing his toys in the garbage was just not cutting it for me.

    So I'm sitting here like a moron trying madly to get the sound on the second video because for some reason it was stuck on mute. I don't think I missed anything with the sound off. Duh.

  12. The extra fees on the phone bill that go for something like this, I am SO in agreement with!!

    I love the dedication that you have...

    You ARE a special person!!


  13. I can't imagine how excited Owen is to be able to have that phone and talk to his buddies!!!
    Hope Bea had a wonderful birthday in spite of her brother getting the coolest gift EVER!!!! ;-)

  14. Happy Birthday Bea! As for the arrival of a sibling, my son likes to quote from Diary of a Wimpy Kid "One day you're the center of attention. The next day you're a dirt sandwich."

    I'm happy to chip in on the video phone.

  15. Why didn't you have cute kids?

    Holy cripes they are precious.

    That vid phone, kicks ass. Very Jetsons of you.

  16. Ack! Now I know what Owen was texting to me last night. He was telling me he talked to someone on TV.

    So cool! See. You. Tomorrow. (Which is how Owen sends texts - sort of like telegrams.)


  17. Bea is THE fashionista. Watch out Vogue! Awesome that Owen gets to vidoe chat now! So cool!!

  18. I'm so happy the phone arrived. I don't know why, in 2011, we don't all have video phones anyway.
    Not me though.
    I don't get dressed or shower unless I have to.
    Video phone would be a bad idea

  19. I will never bitch about the fees on the phone bill fucking cool.


    Happy Birthday Bea!

  20. On a vacation with my wife & in-laws, my sister-in-law up & threw a hissy fit one day. She ended up stalking off and spending the day at the local Walmart (instead of a lazy day at the beach). When she came back, she looks her (then 19-year-old, now 23-year-old brother) "you usurped my babyhood". Temper tantrum explained.

    When I was in high school, I dated a girl for a little while. I really, really liked her, but had to call things off because I could not stand her mother. Cindy's mother talked constantly and incessantly in the world's most annoying voice (think Fran Drescher on helium).

    It wasn't until we broke up, though, that I realized that Cindy's father was stone-deaf. He was born deaf and was raised to speak. While he knows sign-language, his lip-reading skills are truly something else. Suddenly, I understood how Cindy's parents made such a great couple.

  21. Love your blog

    I have been poking around in your archives.

    Your kids are adorable and I think you are a wonderful mom.

    that is all

  22. He IS lucky his mommy signs. You're a super lady.

  23. Owen isn't even my kid and I almost fucking cried.

  24. Man, I almost cried watching that video, and I don't even know the kid! Amazing.

  25. That IS pretty fucking awesome. And MLP? = a world of hurt for me when Sprite requests that damn cartoon.

  26. I love to watch videos of Owen.

  27. We have high hopes for the T Coil when Julia is at the phone talking age. Now we're getting by with super loud speaker phone and mommy/daddy translation between Jules and whoever she's talking to.

    I'm glad Owen got some thunder back. Losing that can mess a kid up. Just ask my sister. She had it all until I was born when she was 6 1/2. It was all downhill from there.

  28. You are the Best Sister Ever. Yup. *grins*

    The awesomeness of Owen's new phone? Beyond my signing capability (clearly) but how's a double fistpump?

  29. Happy Birthday Bea! Happy video phone Owen!

  30. Love the pose! And it ROCKS that Owen has that phone now!

  31. Happy birthday, Bea! she is sooooo cute. love the outfit. and Yay! graham! so excited for him about the video phone. way cool. you guys are having a fantastic week! xo, s

  32. Happy Birthday, Bea! My younger son gets your discontent. His big brother gets to go the resource room at school EVERY day, and he never does. He was very confused on the first day of Kindergarten..."Mom, there was no resource room. Why not? Nicky gets to go every day!"

    I've always sort of vaguely wondered about those fees on the phone bill. Now I freaking love them. Congrats, Owen!

  33. "You all pay for them. Look on your phone bill. Thanks by the way."

    Gadget is awesome! My husband was even interested to watch how it all works.

    I see Bea and my Zoe have the same fashion designer...

    Happy birthday, Bea and happy gadget, Owen!

  34. i am so happy to know that part of our phone bills go to something as wonderful as this! seriously. sometimes i wonder what the hell all those stupid fees are for (and i'm skeptical) but knowing this is one of the things....awesomesauce! and i love the guy who came and installed it telling owen he had a great mom. how cool is that? bea's fashion sense is spot on for her age....i remember my kids dressing like that too. : )

  35. Happy birthday to Bea. SO COOL that Owen got his phone. Oh and thanks for the reminder to pay the bill.

  36. Bea is so stinking cute. And she has great fashion sense. Happy birthday to her!

    The video phone is very cool. My son has enough hearing to get by with the regular phone, but he hates it with a passion.

  37. Where's my My Little Pony bitch?!


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