Ears and Pets
The squeaker has a terrible cough, but worse than that, his illness seems to have left his ears filled with fluid and he cannot hear much at all. If we talk at the dinner table in normal conversational voices, he cannot hear any of the conversation. When we address him, he can be looking straight at us and know we are talking but still be unable to make sense of what we are saying. He had this same problem two years ago, also in April, so it seems that it might just be a rough time of year for him. His ears are tiny and the typical illnesses of late winter and spring just overwhelm his small ear canals.
It's very frustrating for all of us, and I worry about him going to school. His teacher knows that he cannot hear well, and we let the administration know, but he will inevitably come into contact with people who don't know, from bus drivers to cafeteria aides. I don't want him to get in trouble for not listening, and I also hate to see him so disengaged. Since he cannot hear, he is completely in his own little world. It's disappointing, too, to know that he'll fall behind in math again, just when he was feeling more confident. They've been doing some simple geometry and fractions, and he's found that he's quite good at that kind of math. My dad says that kind of thinking is entirely different from the kind of thinking that underpins arithmetic and algebra, which makes sense to me. Anyway, in the last day or so his hearing has been so compromised that we are wondering if he should see a doctor. We are not sure what the point of that would be since we are very reluctant to do tubes and since there is substantial research showing that summertime consistently relieves fluid in the ears in the vast majority of cases. I don't know what the doctor could really do to help at this point; there are no drugs or other treatments for fluid in the ears.
The pipsqueak also has a cough, but he is not as sick as the squeaker was. Mostly, he's been his usual happy little self. Or maybe I should say intense little self -- when he is happy, he is very happy, but when he is mad or sad or whatever, his entire self embodies that particular emotion. Recently, he's been heavily lobbying us for a dog. He has explained that they are very cute and that he would be able to pet it. He had this conversation with his uncle while he was playing with his Star Wars AT-AT, and his uncle pointed out that he hardly needed a dog since he has an AT-AT. This frustrated the pipsqueak and he picked up the AT-AT to explain that it wasn't like a dog because it had FOUR FEET. Maybe we need to work on counting, or dog identification. He did also explain that AT-ATs are METAL. I do feel very sad that there is no way for the boys to have a pet. The goats were a failed effort to resolve that problem, and since then, we've been offered many suggestions. But there really is nothing quite like a dog for companionship. Rabbits, gerbils, fish, snakes, lizards, ferrets...nothing really can substitute for a dog that can tag along with you, snuggle with you, and play with you. It is too bad that there is no way to make it happen. The squeaker's allergies are just too severe, and his dad would suffer, too.
That is all for today.