Now Hayley is growing up, Tiger mum has to persuade her to take on responsibility for aspects of her own life and health – but it’s not always easy…
Saturday night, in the garage…
Hayley is hiding in her room. I’m fuming.
I’ve just spent the best part of an hour trying to sort out her hearing aid.
It doesn’t say anything about this in the hearing aid guides, nor the NDCS video about hearing aid maintenance and re-tubing.
The problem is this tube hasn’t been touched for ages. Hayley just will not remember to re-tube or even to clean them. I nag and nag, but she seems to think it’s acceptable to just keep wearing them as long as they keep working. The most she’ll do is put a battery in when it runs out.
You’re supposed to clean them daily, I tell her repeatedly. ‘Even every couple of days would be okay,’ I bargain.
But I swear I can’t remember the last time she did it. In fact I don’t think she’s cleaned them since her last audiology appointment three months back.
When I put that to her earlier she looked very sheepish, so guilty she didn’t even bother snapping at me in the usual full-on, hormonal teen fashion that is the default for so many exchanges these days.
So now here we are. I’d said wouldn’t it be nice if she went to her catering job tonight with nice clean hearing aids.
She apologised for being such a slob and we’ve agreed that they’re so old and brittle, she should re-tube them.
Except that’s turned out to be easier said than done. She couldn’t remove the tube from this one, so she gave it to me. I’ve tried. I’ve pulled and twisted, even warmed it up by pouring hot water over the end of the tube, but all to no avail.
Now I’m in the garage in the dark, in the freezing cold, hunting out a pair of pliers
I return to the kitchen with a selection of tools. I pull and pull with the pliers but the tube – which has become hardened and unpliable, so won’t ease off of the hook – just flattens and extends. I’m worried I’ll snap off the hook.
I persevere for the next 20 minutes, alternating with pouring boiling water onto the tube, scalding my fingers in the process.
Hayley ventures downstairs, chances a peek around the door.
‘Any luck Mum?’
I rant on again about how ridiculous this is, and she flees back up to the sanctuary of her room.
Right. I need a sharp knife. The only way I can see to do it is to cut a little slit into the top of the tube, but without slicing through to the hook beneath.
Another five frustrating minutes later and success – I pull the tube clear.
Now for re-tubing. I call Hayley down so she can be involved, and she gets on and snips the new tube into a sharp point to thread through the mould.
It’s done. She whisks off to work just in time, complete with hygienic hearing aids.
Now I’ve written it on the calendar in bold red, every three days: HHA – Hayley Hearing Aids. Clean them. She’s promised to do it.
I can’t believe other people do it every day – do they?
Why not comment below and let Tiger Mum know how often you or your child cleans their hearing aids?