Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thank You Google

A few nights ago, we were driving home late at night when I had to come from, LETS JUST SAY 60MPH, to a complete stop in the middle of the road to let a group of does cross the road.  The rapid stop (and the few moments of sitting still to make sure no other deer decided to play chicken with my car) alerted Liam that something was wrong, and he started asking those two year old questions--you know the ones like “why” and “where” and “but why!”

Liam: “Why you stop mom?”
Me: “Because there was something in the road Liam.”
Liam: “What is it mommie?”
Me: “It was a bunch of deer Liam.”
Liam with all the excitement he could muster: “WHAT!”
Me: “Deer, Liam.”
Liam: “Why mommie?”
Me: “They just wanted to cross the road.”
Liam: “Huh? What crossed the road mommie.”
 (Insert three more “huh”s here.)
Me: “It was deer Liam, just some deer.”
Then, after a few minutes of racking his little brain, “what is deer mommie?”

It hit me that Liam had never seen a deer and probably would not for a little while since-- let’s face it-- even in Arkansas we don’t take our toddlers hunting. There are also no deer on flashcards (though I don’t know why), no pet deer (at least not in our 15 mile radius), and to this day I have yet to see a stuffed teddy deer at the toy store.
So how to explain what a deer is to Liam.  While at the next stop light, I pulled out my iphone and googled “Deer”, punched “images” and handed Liam my cell phone.
Straight from Google search "deer".

My child went nuts!! The rest of the night he carried around my phone showing daddie and me, “Look it’s a deer! It’s a baby ‘cause it has spots!! Look at that one it has horns mommie, horns!! Ohh that’s a big deer! Look daddie, look at the horns!!!” He kept scrolling through the images of deer and doe and “baby deer” all night long.


 By the end of the night my phone was dead and Liam was dreaming of deer. He even chose to make reinDEER cookies the next night.
So thank you Google, because without you Liam may still be confused about what a deer is….and I’d still be stuck in the above conversation. J

Now I’m on the hunt for some deer products for Christmas—wish me luck! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sometimes We Forget

I know a lot of people always ask or comment on how living with a visually impaired/blind toddler must have changed our day to day life completely and don’t get me wrong-IT DID/HAS/WILL-but sometimes we still do forget.  I don’t know how or when it started but it did.  I know it’s because we have gotten used to the adjustments—the strips of tape on our steps, the white cane, the sunglasses, the every 3-6 month eye exams, the set-in-stone placement of our furniture, the movie nights with the couch moved up to three feet away from the TV, the vision therapy appointments, the enlarged picture books, the braille blocks and braille books, the giant flashcards and constant need to keep the floor and walkway clutter and toy free, and even the constant bruises and boo-boos from running into corners or walls or off step—but somehow we still manage to forget.

                When I scolded him for what I thought was protest and refusal to pick up his black raisins off the black part of our rug, all the while he was shouting “I can’t!” meaning “I can’t see them”—I’d forgotten.
                When we giggled and then cried when Liam tried to grab the last carrot from his Elmo bowl, but it was really Elmo’s orange nose on the bottom of the bowl—we’d forgotten.
                When we started reading books to him at night, and he had to get within an inch or two of his nose touching the page to see the pictures that were over 3 inches large—we’d forgotten.
                When we started counting blocks and Liam started to skip some of the ones that were too close together—we’d forgotten.
                When Liam told me someone was at our house (in our driveway) and I didn't believe him, though he heard them minutes before I did—I’d forgotten.
                When we were at the church fair and Liam hunkered low to the ground, almost on his belly, and began to sideways crawl to get under a wire fence that was more than 4 feet away, and he kept doing it pausing to see if he had made it under (when he hadn't) because he could not tell how far away the wire was—we all laughed and then sighed because we’d forgotten.

                Yes, some days it is so “normal” to live with Liam’s adjustments that we forget they are there, and we forget there will be more.  BUT this is our normal and normal sometimes makes you forget the hard parts that make life no so normal to the outside eyes. So new moms here don’t worry, sometimes you will forget too.  Some days the differences will stick out at you like a sore thumb, rubbing you raw on the inside, but other days are just plain normal….or whatever your normal turns out to be.