Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In Which Connor Has A Sad Hat, And Meets Some Reptiles

Today Connor and I met some friends downtown for the weekly Concert in the Park put on by Puyallup's Parks and Recreation department.  These are kid-friendly concerts and activities that happen every Tuesday during the summer.  This week's show was called Reptile Isle, and basically it was an educational show where they brought out a lot of exotic reptiles and allowed the kids to interact with them.  Reptiles featured included an African Spurred Tortoise, an albino Burmese Python, a small American Alligator and a juvenile Komodo Dragon (with two tails!).  It was really cool to get the chance to see all of the animals, though the park was packed and we ended up having to leave early.  Connor got overheated pretty quickly even though we were sitting in the shade, and dissolved into a puddle of red-faced grumpiness.  Oh well; what we did see was pretty neat.

Connor did keep his hearing aids on during the show, which was great because I wasn't sure what I was going to do if he started pulling them out, as it was really too hot outside for me to be using Sad Hat.

Yes, that's right.  Sad Hat.

Sad Hat is what Connor has named his new hearing aid retention device.  Basically I sat him down yesterday and told him that he needed to start keeping his hearing aids on, and that if he pulled them out repeatedly he was going to have to wear the special hat I ordered a few weeks ago to remind him to keep them on.  I told him it was his choice whether or not he would wear the hat.  Connor did really well yesterday until he got bored with a toy he was playing with and I didn't get him a new one fast enough; out went the hearing aids.  So I put them back in for him, reminded him of his choice, and then when he immediately did it again on went the hat.  "Sad hat," Connor signed, making an exaggerated pouty face.  After a couple of minutes I asked him if he was ready to keep his hearing aids in.  He told me he was, and so I took the hat off.  "No Sad Hat," he signed happily.  He left them in for the rest of the day. 

Well, today when I put him in the van after we left the show he was tired and grumpy and hot.  I turned the AC up full blast and we headed for home.  When we reached the house I started unbuckling Connor's wheelchair from the van restraint system.  I looked up to see Connor fingering his hearing aids.  "Connor," I said, "you have a choice.  You can either leave your hearing aids in until we get inside and I take them out for your quiet time (i.e. nap time in which he no longer naps) or you can wear your sad hat until quiet time."

He looked directly at me, grabbed his hearing aid and yanked it out.  "Sad Hat!" he signed, and scowled.  So he wore the hat inside, glowering at me all the way to his bedroom where I put him down.

Ah, the joy of having a four year old.



Melanie said...

We had a sad hat for a LONG time too. Wish I would have thought of the fun name. :)

lisa said...

Brilliant Jess! This way it is really Connor's choice whether or not he has to wear the "sad hat". I love that he calls it that. Such a smart kid!

Katy said...

I think it's fantastic. I LOVE the idea of children having choices--even if we would prefer they make different ones.

MFA Mama said...

Oh my goodness, "sad hat," HAAA! Connor cracks me up. Poor kid :)

leah said...

I love the name "sad hat!" He's a clever kid- Nolan never named his. He simply glared at it when it was threatened. He'd start pulling at his aids, then I'd say: "Don't make me get the hat out, boy!"

Fortunately we seem to be in a rather compliant stage right now...

Anonymous said...

What does a sad hat look like? Like this? :


Jess said...

Um, no. It would look like that aviator hat he's got on in the picture that prevents him from taking his hearing aids off.

The point is to not let him take off his hearing aids, not to humiliate the kid.

Julia said...

I'm glad the hat is having (more or less) the desired effect -- as much a training device as apparel. And I love the name! Trust Connor to call it like he sees it. The concert series sounds terrific. I hope you get some cool weather soon.

Cristina said...

Connor may be sad about the hat but it's hard for anyone else to be sad when he looks so darn, freaking adorable in it! That is one good looking boy you've got there, Jess! :)

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

The kids knows how to sign with ATTITUDE! He cracks me up! He is so smart. He made his choice and had to live with it. Isn't life fun that way?

Herding Grasshoppers said...


I love it. The sad hat.

He even looks cute when he's grumpy.


Anonymous said...

I am a lurker who started reading the blog the day you first wrote Jeremy was hurt in Iraq. Bear and I are AF veterans- Bear went to Desertshield/storm and I stayed stateside. I could (kinda) relate. Bear came home with a mild case of "Saudi syndrome" idiopathic, non cirrotic liver damage.

Connor is too funny! I love his communication because it so shows his personality.

Sally in CT

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