Friday, April 2, 2010

A Secret

I admit there are times when I have done something because my son is Deaf that I may not be proud of. There have been times when something came up and that fact that he was Deaf helped a situation for our benefit.

When my son was 2 1/2 I was working on a television show that was a 42 minute commute form my door to the stage. One day I got a frantic call from my husband as he fled to the emergency room. My son had been playing inside and my husband needed something from the car. He didn't want to go through hassle of dressing my son and getting him to stop playing just to grab something outside real quick so he quickly ran out shutting the door behind him. He got what he needed and ran back to the front door. He opened it fast and with force only to find out my son had gone to the door looking for daddy. The door knob landed squarely in his forehead sending him flying.

The injury was so scary to both parties involved my husband grabbed a neighbor and headed for the emergency room. He brought a friend so someone could sit with my son in the backseat and sign to him.

After I got the called I left work and drove as fast as I could to get to the hospital. It felt like the longest 47 minutes of my life. When I arrived I ran down the halls to get to my son. I saw my friend sitting in the waiting room with red teary eyes. Finally I had reached the desk and asked for my son. This is what I was told,

" You can have a seat over there your son is being examined."
"But I am his mother I need to be with him"
"Sorry only one person can go in the room with the patient."
" He is a small child he needs his parents."
"Sorry, hospital policy.

This is where I told a bit of a lie,

" My son is Deaf and I need to interpret for him. I am here as his interpreter and he has the legal right to my presence. "

I got in. Sure my husband could have dealt with this alone but really would you just sit and wait? I convinced this woman by tossing around legal accommodation jargon she new nothing about. I bet the policy was set up for a very good reason but that was not important to me.

He had an x-ray and all was fine. I went in with him and they tossed a lead apron on me while I told him to sit still. I would lie again if I had to do it over. The hospital suffered no harm and my baby had his mama with him when he needed me.

The other time I am thinking of was when he was about 18 months.

We were traveling and on the last leg of a very long trip home. The airline had us on standby after being bumped from another flight. We had to stay at one gate and try to get on each flight. My husband was in charge of the line and I sat with my son.

My son was done. He had been stuck at the airport all day and was a soup sandwich. He was a very easy kid as long as he had communication, food, sleep and clean diapers. At this point we had no diapers left, I was too tired to entertain, we were living off of Goldfish crackers and he hadn't had his nap. This is a volatile combination which was about to become a world class tantrum. Trust me if this would of happened the world would have let out a collective scream because my son could shake the universe with his wrath. So we lied to save the world or at least the last shred of sanity we had and to save the terminal from certain doom. Here is what happened.

I was watching my husband inch up the standby line. As he got closer I saw others walk away with grave faces. This couldn't be good. He looked over and signed, "They don't have enough seats." I exploded I am ashamed to say. I replied with the most angry signing to date. My face full of fierce aggression I shot back," I DON'T CARE! GET US SEATS! DO WHAT EVER YOU HAVE TOO WE ARE NOT MISSING ONE MORE FLIGHT!!!!" Well I am sure my language was a bit more colorful but this blog is rated G.

So what happened next is so interesting to me. The woman at the counter had seen this exchange. When my husband walked up she had a note prepared asking to see his tickets. She then silently worked her computer and handed him three tickets. We got on the flight. We did not clear up that we were not deaf.

We lied.

I send my apologies to the two women I lied to. I know they were just doing their jobs. I also send my gratitude.


  1. We were on the metro in Washington DC with a very loud and talkative homeless man. He was yelling and harrassing everyone who sat in the car. When he headed over to our family we signed to each other and never reacted to his voice. He assumed we were deaf and left us in peace!

  2. these stories are hilarious! thanks for sharing.

  3. Miss Kat's Parents I admit we are guilty of that!!!!!!! One example, if we are shopping in a mall and a kiosk person selling a gimick approaches us we all start signing really fast so they leave us alone. I am such a wimp!

    Shelby thanks for getting it!