Here’s my boy, hanging out having a snack with his good buddy, Mr. Potato Head.
I wondered why one of Potato Head’s ears was lying on the couch with a spare screw-cover (left over from the construction of a toy shopping cart) stuck on the end. Wonderboy informed me that it isn’t an ear—it’s a hearing aid. And it needed a new battery, of course. Evidently he went rummaging around in the drawer where we keep his own hearing aid batteries and found the little orange screw-cover.
Oh, I could just eat him up every minute of the day.
I am reposting this piece from March, 2007, now that I have finally gotten around to fixing the broken image links. When I imported it here from Lilting House, all the images fell out. Now they’re back!
Did you know that ears are one of the few body parts that never stop growing? I think noses might be the other. Besides hair and fingernails, obviously.
When you wear behind-the-ear hearing aids, the hearing aids last for years, but the ear molds—the little custom-made silicone or acrylic doohickeys that fits into your ear—need replacing every so often. As your ear grows, the ear mold ceases to fit, and first you get a feedback problem, and then eventually the mold just won’t stay in the ear at all.
So you go to the audiologist’s office, and she makes new impressions of your ears with a quick-hardening goo. You ship the impressions off to a lab, and in a couple of weeks you’ll have your brand new ear molds.
If you are three years old, you may find this process somewhat entertaining, if mildly uncomfortable. If you are six years old and the uncomfortable part is happening to your brother, not to you, you will consider it a ripping good time. Beanie pronounced it “huge fun.”
I get a large number of hits every day from hearing-aid-related searches, including variations of “toddler ear molds,” so I thought it might be helpful if I posted a walk-through of the process. Besides, pictures are always fun.
First the audiologist checks your ears, making sure there isn’t too much wax in there—that might mess up the shape of the impression. Then she carefully inserts a little foam stopper to make sure none of the impression goo goes too far up the ear canal.
Then she pops the two kinds of goo out of their little bubble wrappers, and she mixes them together into a pliable substance that can be squeezed out of a syringe but will harden within a few minutes. Beanie, supervising, thought this mixing process looked pretty nifty and is now wondering how to work “become an audiologist” into her plan to be a scuba-diver with ten children.
The audiologist scoops the goo into the syringe and carefully squeezes it into the ear, sort of like making an icing rose on a birthday cake. Now you have to sit and wait. You can’t poke at the goo, much as you might wish to. Nor can you pull on the string that is connected to the little foam stopper inside your ear canal. Patience, grasshopper.
Meanwhile, the audiologist squirts the leftover goo out of the syringe. This, I am told, is THE BEST PART.
Let’s do the other ear while we’re waiting. It’s okay to drool.
Finished! Time to pull out the impression. No need to be suspicious; it won’t bite.
The impressions go into a box and are dispatched to the Lab, that mysterious place where ear molds are born.
Now comes the fun part! (The other fun part, says Beanie.) What color ear molds do you want? The sky’s the limit. No, Bean, you can’t have a pair of sparkly ones for yourself.
What color did he get? You’ll have to wait two weeks to find out.
Related post: The Deliciousness of Mah
May 5, 2008 @ 6:00 pm | Filed under: Links
Hey, wouldja look at this! Something went screwy with my del.icio.us link auto-posting and of course it took me about a month to notice. And now here it is suddenly working again. I tinkered today but had no joy; Emily, dear, did you fix me up? 🙂 I know I tagged a bunch more links during that time, so if you’d like to see ’em, clicky clicky.
I have also restored my Google Reader Shared Items to the sidebar (scroll down on the right).