Lisa: Do you care what other people think? Do your inhibitions prevent you from speaking your mind? My truthful responses would be “yes” and “yes.” Sophie worries way less than I do about such things. This story is a perfect example. When Sophie was about 2 1/2 years old, she got ear tubes. I was fortunate to reconnect with “Dr. Tim,” a former high school classmate, dear friend, and otolaryngologist, a.k.a. ear, nose, and throat surgeon. After a two year search for an ENT who would listen to Dr. Mom, my prayers were answered. Dr. Tim agreed with Dr. Mom that Sophie would benefit from those little pressure equalization tubes that would help decrease ear fluid, allow the ear drums to more efficiently propagate sound waves, and effectively improve Sophie’s hearing! Imagine that–hearing was important! (And to you, Dr. Mean, Dr. Sour-puss, Dr. Stone-faced chairman of pediatric ENT at Children’s Hospital who said, “She doesn’t need ear tubes. Of course, she can’t speak well. She has Down Syndrome!” …Really, Einstein?! I just hope we never run into each other in a dark alley! And I do not think you deserve your credentials!) The photo of Soph, a.k.a. “Winnie the Pooh” was taken a few months after ear tubes were in place. Notice her properly retracted tongue, which is attributed in part to her finally being free of ear fluid and congestion!
Fast forward 1.5 years to when Sophie was 4 years old. She and I were on our way up the elevator of Dr. Tim’s building for one of many follow-up ENT appointments. As we got on the elevator, a distinguished looking gentleman entered as well. In classic Freudian style, he made a beeline for the opposite corner. Sophie let go of my hand to stand perfectly equidistant between me and the stranger. As she smiled up at him, he tightened the grip on his briefcase. Little beads of perspiration formed on my upper lip as my apprehension mounted. What would she do?! As if reading my mind, Sophie turned squarely to face the gentleman. “Good morning!” No response. The poor guy was visibly uncomfortable. Sophie then turned to me and said, “I think he needs ear tubes.” Then turning to him once again, she bounded closer, almost toe to toe, and in a booming voice, looking almost straight into his nostrils, she exclaimed, “I SAID good morning!!!” He finally mumbled a half-hearted reply, “Good morning” and promptly scurried out of the elevator, one floor shy of our destination. I love my daughter!
Sophie: Yeah, that guy sounds mean! It makes me feel sad when I realize someone is ignoring me. I do not remember getting ear tubes. Goodbye folks!