I have learned two lessons (so far) from this experience. One: I can't rely on the public health system. Had we chosen to go public we would have been waiting at least a year to have this procedure, despite the audiologists' reports stating that R's hearing is insufficient for normal language and development. Two: Trust your instincts. For a long time I suspected that R's hearing was bad - she often ignored me when I spoke to her, or said what? when I asked her a question - but as no one else had any concerns about it, I put it down to her just being difficult and contrary.
So while I don't look forward to tomorrow's procedure (minor though it is), I am relieved that R's hearing issues have been identified and action is being taken at last. Recently I have noticed her withdrawing socially and have wondered whether this is due to her inability to hear what children are saying. I imagine she can't hear too much of what her kindergarten teacher says when the children are all sitting on the mat. In the car it is very difficult to carry on a conversation with her, perhaps because we're not face to face. I feel sad that she has been disadvantaged in this way for so long.
I wanted to do something nice with her today. So this afternoon, when it was just me and R at home, we had a hot chocolate in my special teacups that my mum gave me for my birthday and that R has been desperate to drink from. I bought her a blueberry plant at Bunnings. And we watched some of Aladdin together.
As a little present to give R tomorrow I made a cute bracelet purse using this tutorial, and bought her a tiara (will come in handy for Halloween, when she plans to dress as a princess) and some body glitter and lip gloss. For the purse I used lovely Indian bangles I'd bought many years ago - it was very satisfying to find a good use for them, because although I love them, the jangly noise they make when worn is a bit much for me. But here's to all life's noises - the loud ones, like the jingles and jangles, and the quiet ones, like birds twittering and leaves rustling. All of which, I hope, will soon be that much more audible to my little one.