Monday, August 24, 2009

The Doll Hint

Several months ago, a friend sent a link of a home video to his friends on Facebook that he took of his deaf wife and four hearing daughters, with the oldest in elementary school, and possibly the younger two in pre-school, and the last one a baby. They all knew ASL.

At the beginning, the mother, carrying the youngest baby daughter in her arms, signed with one hand to the three girls who were lined in an arc, eagerly watching what she was going to say.

The mother said that the girls would be playing a game similar to the one called "Blue Clues". She hinted that as a surprise someone would be arriving to their house this fall but would not reveal who the person would be. The girls' responsibilities are to find the clues being set up all over the house and collect them.

The video showed some of the locations where the girls excitedly found the clues which were folded yellow stickers. The mother told them to collect them and take to the basement where they all gathered at a table. The last clue was a doll.

With her request, the girls unfolded the stickers and lined them up on the table. The eldest daughter assisted with the re-arranging with the clues, with putting the doll at the end of the line-up.

The videocamera zoomed in to the beginning of the clue and then slowly proceeded to the end of the clue, the doll.

It said: We are going to have a (doll).

The older two girls had a puzzled look as if trying to figure out what the clues meant, especially the doll.

Suddenly, with the mouth agape, the eldest daughter excitedly said "Oh, YOU ARE going to have a baby!!?"

After a moment of silence with the girls trying to look at the mother's tummy, the mother asked the middle daughter what she thought about it and encouraged her to talk about it.

She pondered for a second then shook her head and signed, "Oh no, there's trouble cooommminnn'.....!!"

Friday, January 30, 2009

Doggie Game

Several years ago, when my black cocker spaniel mix, Coral, was a puppy, I baby-sat another six months older puppy, Alexa, a husky mix, for few days.

When my friend first got Alexa, about seven months before I got Coral, I used to take her out for walks daily after work for about three months since my friend worked overtime. Hence, Alexa was already familiar with me.

While baby-sitting Alexa at my home with Coral, daily, taking them out for walks was a bit hassle with them pulling in different directions, but somehow I managed... with gritted teeth.

In spite of that, I still enjoyed their company and the camaderie, like one who have kids at home.

They played, slept together, and walked together. The puppies were slowly becoming "friends".

One evening, I relaxed on the sofa in the living room and watched TV, leaving the puppies to play among themselves.

Suddenly, I felt some vibration and the corner of my eye caught them running.

Craning my neck towards the dining room, I saw they were running around the dining table.

After watching them for five minutes, I then realized, to my astonishment, that they were playing "tag" like children do, with one chasing the other and touching it with its nose, and then the tagged puppy gave chase!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

History repeats itself...

Regarding this new post, please refer to my previous blog about my sister's birth when I was four years old, please click on this link: "WowALiveDoll!"

When my sister and her husband first announced their pregnancy, my mother was quite ecsastic as it would be her first grandchild.

She practically called everyone that she knew, including distant relatives, of the news.

Since my brother-in-law worked abroad, in the third country, his job policy required my sister to give birth in the U.S., for safety & security reasons. So, three months prior to the birth, my sister came to U.S. and stayed with my mother.

During this time, my mother enthusiastically helped my sister in making preparations for the baby's arrival.

Since my mother had only one car, a family friend kindly offered one of the cars to my sister so that she could run errands while my mother was at work.

However, due to her late age and for some unknown reason, my sister was rushed to the hospital because of her high blood level.

Upon examination, the doctor ordered an early birth, which was about three weeks, and induced the labor.

My sister gave birth to a baby boy. Although the baby was tiny, he was quite healthy in every aspect as a preemie. However, my sister had to stay in the hospital for few more days due to some unexpected afterbirth health problems.

My brother-in-law could not arrive from abroad until about two days later when he was able to get ahold of a last-minute flight.

During this time, my mother visited the hospital daily.

Upon entering my sister's room each time, my mother immediately made a bee-line to see the baby, not even bothering to say "hi" to my sister.

"Honey, I'm shrinking...!"

My sister, an Asian Indian, married an American, Ben, whom she met in Peace Corps in Africa several years ago. They were friends for about seven years before deciding to move their relationship to the next level.

Two years later, their wedding was a nice combination of Indian and American styles, even including the reception dinners.

They lived abroad, moving from country to country every a couple of years due to Ben's job.

Three years after the wedding, they had a nice announcement: a baby.

Few months later, to update the family, my sister took photos of Ben playing with the baby which she posted on the Internet. In one of the photos, the baby was lying down on a quilt with the "playground" of toys hanging above the baby. Ben was lying beside the baby, looking at the toys as well.

Below the photo, my sister typed a caption: "Dad in the land of the Lilliputians".

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A "Blind" Oriental

Twelve years ago, I worked part-time while searching for a full-time job. At my job, another deaf girl, Amy, also worked with me, but different hours. However, her shift and my shift overlapped at least two hours or so.

Amy was married with two boys and lived only five minutes away from me. Upon meeting her for the first time, we quickly became fast friends. Almost every weekend, we would visit each other and often get together to go shopping and to parties.

Amy is South Korean who was born hearing. When she was 1-1/2 years old, in Seoul, her mother, for some unknown reason, dumped her at a bus station. An orphanage took her in for the next 1-1/2 years.

Due to unsanitary conditions at the orphange, Amy developed high fever which lasted for a while and as a result, caused her to become "stone" deaf. Hearing aids would not even help her.

When she was three, a couple in Germany decided to adopt her through an agency. However, when Amy was flown there, the couple suddenly changed their mind. Poor Amy was flown back to Seoul to hopefully await another adoption or otherwise stay at the orphanage for the rest of her childhood.

Meanwhile, a Caucasian couple in the U.S. wanted to adopt a boy but when the agency stated they had a girl immediately available but she was deaf. As if it was a coincidence, the adoptive-to-be mother already knew sign language because she had two deaf sisters.

On the spur of the moment, they decided to adopt Amy after all.

Amy grew up in a small town, surrounded mostly by whites. She hardly knew anything about her own country and culture.

Although she was South Korean, Amy always suspected she was abandoned by her own mother possibly due to the fact that she may be half Korean, and with no support from the real father.

She certainly looked Oriental but her hair color was always lighter and her eyes shape and color did not match to those of full-Koreans.

During those two hours of our shift overlap daily at my part-time job, Amy and I would often "whisper" in signs in catching up with the news on what was happening in our lives.

This was during the time that Amy told me this story which made me laugh.

When she was younger, she met a Chinese boy for the first time. He had flat nose and very slanted eyes that looked like as if he was "peering". You could hardly see his irises.

Being a boisterous and outgoing person, Amy wanted to befriend this boy. Curiously, Amy looked at his face, feeling quite uncertain on how to talk to him.

Slowly approaching the Oriental boy and standing across from him, Amy waved in front of his eyes and timidly asked:

Can you see me?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Child's Admonishment

Young children tend to over-generalize things and think in "black and white". Their perspectives and comments on life can be funny at times.

My deaf friend, Katie, has a son, Peter, who is hearing. Katie's hearing parents lived close by that they would visit at least twice a week.

From time to time, Katie taught Peter, who was then 3-1/2, the basic of "rights and wrongs". Peter nodded earnestly as if absorbing all the "do's and don'ts" in his tiny head. He knew how to be a "good boy".

One afternoon, Katie's father was driving when he happened to overlook another car in his path and tried to swerve but instead hit the car. Fortunately, his car was not damaged badly; just few dents here and there.

The next day, he visited Katie at her home and was narrating about "his-fault" accident to Katie's husband who is hearing. Peter was playing in the living room when he overheard the conversation.

Peter walked up to his grandfather, pointed at him, and piped up, "Bad boy!"

Friday, June 6, 2008

A fainting spell

During my teen years in middle school, in my PE classes, every students were required to do sit-ups and stretching prior to starting an assigned sport. I used to do sit-ups quite fast, often beating other students whenever the coach timed us.

I would practice doing sit-ups at home with my sister sitting on my feet, to hold them in. I also practiced trying to split my legs as well, but not too successfully though.

After a year, I started to notice that whenever I started to do sit-ups, the middle of my butt would hurt a bit. The pain slowly increased in the span of few months, up to the point where I could no longer do any sit-ups, or even sit cross-legged on the floor.

The doctor diagnosed that I had a cyst between my butt. An operation was scheduled as soon as I finished 8th grade prior to summer-break.

After the operation, for almost 6 months, I had to wear skirts daily. I was not allowed to wear pants due to the fact that the seams may rub my stitches and scar.

By the time school started for the fall, I was forced to bring a seat pillow since I was unable to sit on the hard desk seats for a prolonged time. I felt like a freak, yet no one said anything to me. Perhaps they said something behind my back, or so I imagined.

Prior to the start of fall semester, I developed a high fever and was confined to bed for about 4 days. I did not eat much and barely consumed liquids.

On the 4th day, I woke up in the morning, almost feeling quite back to normal.

Happily and relieved, I walked from my bedroom to the bathroom to finally brush my teeth.

As soon as I finished brushing my teeth, but not yet putting the toothbrush back in its holder, I looked at myself in the mirror.

Somehow, the mirror became a bit blurry and a bit darker. Puzzled, I tried to strain my eyes at the mirror.

Suddenly, I felt dizzy and my eyes saw "black".

"MOM, MOM, I CAN'T SEE!!!" I screamed, running out of the bedroom and into my parents' bedroom.

The next thing I remembered was I found myself lying down, with my mom hovering me, frantically trying to rouse me.

I looked to my right to my outstretched arm which was half -way under my parents' bed. In my tightly fisted hand was my toothbrush.

Apparently, I had fainted due to lack of food for days.