Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The walk to School

This morning my wife (Anne) was walking the kids to school and she related the following story to me about the journey.

Daniel (5) suddenly jumped… He became very concerned, worried and then frightened.

“Mummy… What was that..?!?!?”

“What do you mean dear?”

“That noise! That noise! What is it ?!?”

Sounding more and more frightened he started backing away from the road towards the nearest fence.

“What’s that noise!?! I don’t like it!!”

Daniel was looking around himself, as he didn’t know where this ’Noise’ was coming from.

Our son Daniel, has recently (Last Friday – so approx 4 days have elapsed) undergone minor surgery to insert grommets into his ears to fix a condition called glue-ear.

My reaction to hearing this story was the same as Anne’s at the time.

Had something gone wrong?

Was he now suffering some horrible form of Tinnitus or something worse?

Anne tried to calm Daniel down but he was very unnerved. They started to try to work out what the noise might be. It wasn’t the Cars or nearby people talking. It wasn’t constant, but very small (short) and spaced out by about 3-4 seconds in bursts. Daniel can’t describe all these concepts (burst, short noise) but mothers are very good at extracting this sort of information from their children.

Gradually Anne got Daniel to indicate when he was hearing the noise, telling him all the while that everything was fine and that nothing was going to hurt him.

Anne was listening all the while to see what she could match up the nearby audio with the timing that he indicated.

Then it dawned on her…

Calm descended on her…


“Yes Mum”

“It’s Ok…I know what it is”

“What is it?”

“It’s the birds…They are singing”

“Singing Mum ?”

“Yes Daniel they tweet and sing.”

“Oh…(calming) …Oh… (breathing easing) …ok …(starting to relax).. ok ”

“Daniel..have you never heard birds sing before?”

“No mum never…It’s nice…..Can we get a bird?”

“No Dan… Sorry they would cost too much for us to keep one”

“Oh ok mum (slight note of disappointment)……(Pause)… Mum when I get home after school, can I sit in the garden and listen to them? (hopeful)”

“Absolutely Dan… No problem (beaming)… Now shall we get you to school”

“(furious nodding and smiling)”

So I would like to take this opportunity to thank those Nurses, Surgeons and frankly all other members of Poole General Hospital for their wonderful work in bringing my son the gift of being able to hear the birds sing.

You will never understand how much this means to him and us :)


Marc said...

Hi Rory ;

Wow, what a story ! Incredible !

And guess what ?
Every time I go to work, I put ear plugs on so that I do not get disturbed by buses, ambulances, fire engines, printers, and my colleagues chating. I guess, I am a bit crazy !

But next time I hear a bird singing, I'll think how lucky I am to be able to hear them at least...

Best regards,

Marc G.

Dennis van der Stelt said...

Wow, awesome story! These are the things to share!

Good luck with your kid!