Over the holiday break, Queen Teen's teacher sent home the hearing aids again, and since QT was spending the entire break at home with me, there was no ready excuse to avoid the fight. So, one day I decided to face the battle full charge ahead.
"Hey sweet, you need to wear your hearing aids for a bit."
"Why?" QT said with a scowl.
"Because your teacher wants you to keep practicing."
"Why?" She crossed her arms.
"Because the more you wear them the sooner you get used to them. They won't bug you so much."
"Why?" Now her head was buried in her chest.
"Your hearing aids help you hear better."
She looked up at me with narrowed eyes. "No they don't."
"Yeah, they really do. I can tell the difference when you don't wear them. I don't have to yell so much."
"They bug me."
I was trying very hard to keep my voice calm, yet firm. But my frustration was growing.
"Just wear them for a couple of hours and then you can take a break."
"I don't want to."
"I want you to, though. And so do your teachers."
She started to cry. "They bug me!"
"What do you mean they bug you, honey?"
"They bother my ears."
"I don't know."
I looked at her ears, examining the inside curves for any sign of rubbing or irritation. "I don't see anything. Can you show me where it bugs you?"
"Wear them for a little while and then you can take them out if they bug you too much."
She cried harder while I gently put the hearing aids in her ears. As soon as I was done, she shouted, "I don't like them!"
I hugged her and said, "I know. I'm sorry. I'm proud of you for trying." And then I left the room to let her collect herself.
A few minutes later I checked on her. She'd stopped crying, but her hearing aids were practically hanging out of her ears only attached by the ear molds.
"Honey, you have to keep them on."
"They bug me!"
I pushed the mechanical part behind her ears again. "Just for a little while."
I thought distraction might help. "Want to color?"
"No." She turned her back on me.
"Watch a movie?"
She shook her head.
I sighed and left the room again, only to discover a few minutes later that she'd pulled her hearing aids out from behind her ears to dangle like cream colored antenna.
This went on for almost an hour, and then I took them out. I tried again the next day, and the next, but it was always the same.
It is so hard to find the balance in this fight. She needs hearing aids, but she HATES them. I understand she's used to not hearing, so everything sounds weird when she wears the aids. I also know they really could be bothering her. Maybe they itch, or rub. Just because I can't see anything doesn't mean the irritation isn't there. But then when I add in the teen-age, fight mom at all cost, stubborn part of the equation it throws all the excuses out the door. So what is the answer then? Is she just being stubborn, or really having trouble, or all of the above?
She'll wear them at school, so I guess that will have to do for now. Except that her teacher sends them home on the weekends.
Get ready for Round 3.