Hospitals and Castles

No big news on the hearing aid front. We saw the ENT today (first time in the Bronx, woo hoo!) at the lovely Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. It’s only 7 years old (the hospital, not the ENT or the Bronx), and features some amazing art and science installations, including a huge Foucault’s pendulum and a huge sealed ecosphere in the main lobby.

We didn’t learn much of anything new today, except to confirm that hearing aids would help SillyBilly. The ENT pointed out that where his loss falls (from normal 10 dB in the 250-1500 Hz range, down to 40 dB at 2000 Hz and 60-65 dB above 3000 Hz, because I know you wanted the numbers) should allow him to hear normal speech fairly well. Men’s voices would be more clear than women’s, and certain high-pitched sounds (fricatives, because I know you wanted the technical term) like s, z, or f might not sound clear to him.

So, the next thing is to do our 2007 taxes so we can confirm that we can get help paying for hearing aids. Since they can range from $500 to $3500 each (and we’ll need two), we’re crossing our fingers. Looks good on that front, though.

We also have an appointment scheduled for April to rule out a genetic etiology (you like my expert use of medical lingo?), but since SillyBilly shows no signs of having one of the more common genetic syndromes, I’m not too concerned.

Anyhoo, on a lighter note I thought I would share SillyBilly’s current obsession: castles. And medieval siege weapons.

One day he announced that he had made a trebuchet, shown above. After clarifying that this would have been, technically, a catapult (a trebuchet has a counterweight, of course!), we went on to making bigger and better siege engines together.

Somehow, perhaps as a relic of my old SCA days, one day I was explaining how in the Middle Ages, a besieging army would sometimes heave a dead horse or cow into the castle to infect the people inside, and thus render them incapable of defending the castle. Now that I do a little bit of online research, I see that I was conflating the use of dead human corpses and certain other references.

Here’s SillyBilly launching a lamb into a castle occupied by gnomes and a firefighter innocently enjoying some tea.

The gnomes look on in shock at the carnage and devastation.

Yesterday SillyBilly presented me with this drawing, a castle with two knights on horseback. He proudly pointed out the portcullis and arrow slits. Please also note the stirrups and swords the knights are carrying. The boy has an eye for detail. And please note the spare lines and assertive use of space … oh, wait, this isn’t an art appreciation course, I’m just a bragging mama.

A few days ago he created this puppet play, all about some gnomes who were being harassed by a mean dragon who lived nearby in a cave. I think the various forest animals helped the gnomes steal the dragon’s treasure, but the story was a little convoluted so I’m not sure. This one has an invisible castle…can’t you see it?



Filed under art, Hearing loss, play, waldorf toys

12 responses to “Hospitals and Castles

  1. I see the invisible castle, I see it! I love your boy’s eye for detail and wonderful imagination.

  2. Wow! I think Mama has a right to brag about her boy’s talent. And I think Mama should tell more about her SCA days — I’ve never quite “got” the whole re-enactment thing and would love to hear an insider’s view.

  3. Bex

    Ah, SillyBilly. Aint nothin’ wrong with that kid! Xxx

  4. Ah, those freakin’ fricatives! I didn’t know that word myself, which is schocking considering that VB’s chemo-related hearing loss involves that — his favorite Christmas song was “Crosty the Snowman” this year. No aids yet, although an “FM System” is in the works for preschool.

    Have fun storming the castle!

  5. Nana

    My brilliant grandson continues to amaze and astound me with his intricate creations.

    More of his drawings would certainly be appreciated by his Nana and Grandpa Dave.

    This is not just a hint; it’s more along the lines of a Royal Command.

    Now, can we get some news about Princess Napoleona, my brilliant granddaughter?

    Lastly, you might want to work with SillyBilly on the S sound. He sometimes sounds like he is using a sh sound.

  6. Charlotte: I’m so glad you can see it too!

    Kerryn: Oh dear…I’ll have to ponder how much college-era geekiness I’m willing to share : )

    Bex: You said it! He’s mah boy.

    Vampdaddy: I’ve heard FM systems can be a huge help in classroom situations. And now you’ve forever changed that in my mind to “Crosty”.

    Nana: I have an enormous pile of kid drawings to sort through! And I do realize that Napoleona has been getting short shrift lately. And yes, the main speech issue I have noticed with him is the SH/S thing…he seems to be tongue thrusting. I’m investigating having him evaluated by a speech therapist.

  7. My *favourite* bit is the invisible castle! Can Kiko come round and play at your house? He loves building and making various structures, and he would highly approve of the teapot. He insists on lugging a plastic teapot everywhere with him at the moment and since all the favourite toys are ending up over the balcony and onto our loony neighbours’ balcony, therefore disappearing forevermore, I’m going to invest in a spare one from the dollar shop. He’s climbing the walls right now due to being kept in all week with his asthma… and that means so are we.

    I hope everything works out with the hearing aids.

  8. Helen: I would love to have Kiko over to play! Can you put up a bit of wire fence or window screen material along the balcony rail to keep the toys in?

    SillyBilly and Napoleona have a cold, and yesterday SillyBilly started having asthma, as usual. We’ve been inside all weekend and tempers are fragile!

  9. Nana

    I’ve been thinking about SillyBilly thrusting fake dead animals into the castle, and have concluded this is not such an appropriate play theme. It was, after all, biological warfare. A similar technique was used to eradicate the American Indian with small pox infected blankets.

    And let’s not forget the mighty Romans, who catapulted live Jews into the stone.
    walls of Masada.

  10. Yes, Nana, I agree. What was I thinking? Luckily when he mentions his favorite topic, trebuchets, he only talks about loading them with rocks.

  11. Nana

    If my brilliant grandson simply must play with weaponry, then rocks, stones, sticks, I can live with… 🙂

  12. Pingback: SCA, part 1 « Anthromama

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