Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Windy Day

Tom has had some bad gas recently…very much into skunk territory. He is, obviously, pretty proud of this and, being a boy, probably always will be. We have only ourselves to blame of course. His intake of baked beans has been disproportionately high of late and so, as parents, we must shoulder the blame for any minor offence our little stinkbomb has caused.

I extend this apology particularly to the Countess of Wessex who had the pleasure of meeting Tom on Monday. We were invited to be part of a gathering of implantees and their parents at the Ear Foundation when the Countess visited. She is a trustee of the RNID and had expressed a keenness to meet young deaf people – so she got to meet Tom amongst others.

I sincerely hope that she was appropriately stunned by the children she met and loudly broadcasts what is one of the most astounding advances in medical technology of recent years. I have a mild concern that, when sharing her memories with Prince Edward over dinner, she may have had cause to recall the pungently aromatic three year old and his verbally incontinent father but I'm sure the recollection won't spoil their dessert.

As you might have gathered, Tom didn’t show himself in quite his best light. That’s what an hour’s hanging around waiting and inquisitive strangers do to a boy (and a diet rich in pulses). He did attempt to get the Countess' attention by launching his car across the carpet at the Countess’ party handing Nicky a tricky parental dilemma –

‘will scuttling forward on my knees to retrieve said car before the Countess trips over it be construed as over-enthusiastic deference, a security breach that’ll get me pinned to the carpet, or a selfless act to prevent a heavily pregnant royal person taking a tumble’?

Well what would you do?

Luckily one of the entourage came to the rescue and ensured Tom wouldn’t grow up visiting mummy in prison.

Shortly afterwards Tom had his chance to redeem himself when the Countess (I want to call her ‘Soph’ – it’s how we know her at our house) made a beeline for him and initiated a discussion about cars. A smart move under normal circumstances but Tom came over all star struck. He did, reluctantly and monosyllabically, reveal that the blue car was, indeed his favourite but was unwilling to be drawn further.

That was until Soph was long gone and the speeches had started.
‘I want to talk!! I want to talk!!’
‘Don’t shush me!!’ (thank you Madagascar )
And repeat…volume inversely proportional to parental effort to reduce.

We’d run out of ‘incentives to comply’ due to the long wait and, anyway, kind of enjoyed the anti-establishmentarianism of it all. It’s probably tied in with his having long hair – he’s hit his student protest years a little early.

Being an awkward little cuss is what being three is all about of course and besides, when we’ve worked so hard to enable him to speak what on earth are we doing telling him to ‘shush’? And therein lies one of the dilemmas of parenting an implanted child. Social etiquette versus a celebration of the fact that 'yes, our son can talk!'. There's no contest really.


Anonymous said...

You make such a great point here about one of the unique challenges of parenting a Ci kid. I'm aware of it and Ethan isn't even talking yet :-)

What a great story though! We yanks always enjoy a good royal story, but especially one involving your adorable guy with the long curly hair. And the gas! Nice!

John said...

Thanks. I saw some stuff in the Nottingham paper about the visit but it was all for adults. I wondered if your little prince had made an appearance.