Normal hearing children that grow up with a hard of hearing (HOH) parent naturally adapt to the parent’s hearing loss; from an early age, both of my children muted the television, turned off music, and made sure I could see their lips before they attempted to speak to me. Sometimes I felt just a little bad that “talking to mommy” required more work than talking to other people.
But that was BEFORE Super Hearing Boy (SHB) became a teenager.
SHB gradually came into the realization that he could take advantage of my lipreading ability and USE IT AGAINST ME. And do it in a subtle, sneaky manner… and make me look like I’ve gone berserk! How is this possible?
I’m at the piano, rehearsing with the band at church after potluck, and glance over at SHB. He’s staring at me, trying to get my attention without any of the guys noticing. The instant I look at him, he starts moving his lips without making a sound. The sight of his moving lips puts me in an almost hypnotic trance and I’m compelled to lipread until his lips are still. I shake my head to indicate “no” and his lips move again. Finally, I stop playing, and say firmly, “No, I am NOT going to drive you home now and come back here to finish rehearsing! Just sit tight for another half hour and stop arguing with me!”
The guitarists and drummer are silenced by my outburst.
Guess who looks like a raving lunatic and who looks calm and composed?