Dot writes: I was so tired last night that I missed out of the toes post the only serious issue I planned to mention in it. (Apart from the election, I suppose.) (And potty-training is a serious business, though we are not yet seriously engaged in it.) Frank had his seven-months checkup on Wednesday, and he failed the hearing test.
How, you may ask, do you administer a hearing test to seven-month-old baby? 22 months ago I described Hugh’s seven-months test and this one followed the same procedure. Frank sat on my lap facing one nurse, who distracted him with a spinning top. Then another nurse made a soft noise behind him, alternately to one and then the other side. First she shook a rattle that made a silvery sandy sound. Then she said ‘pah, pah, pah’ in a whisper. And Frank took no notice. He did turn, however, when someone began to talk in the corridor outside. It’s clear he is not stone-deaf, but there is room to question about his ability to hear the full range of tones, and he is to be retested in three weeks.
As a callous second-time mum I utterly failed to panic about this. In fact my friend Sarah’s younger son Lucas also did badly in these early hearing tests, and her explanation was that he was so used to an older brother crashing around behind him that it would take more than a mere rattle to merit the effort of investigation. This was my initial conclusion too. But on Sunday we happened to be in a house with budgies, and it struck me that Frank had no interest in the chirping of the budgies either, though it must have been quite new to him. A little nervous doubt is creeping into my mind. Still, the nurses themselves said that seven-month-olds sometimes do just not feel like performing. I trust that Frank will deign to notice the rattle when he is good and ready.