The Tall Tale of the Mother Goose

Written by Dr. Dawn Violetto

Over the last few weeks everyone at Child’s Voice has sat entrapped at our computer screens or at the window in room 112, watching a mother goose and her six eggs.  Carefully, she watches over them day and night.  Wisely, she rises every 30 minutes, gently rolling the eggs before laying down again.  Delicately covering the eggs with goose down before having a much needed stretch of her legs every once and a while.  Mother Goose showed her prowess the last 7 days enduring the gamut of weather from 75-degree heat to 3 inches of driving snow….ahhhh…only in Illinois!    She stays steadfastly on her eggs as school buses rumble by belching their black exhaust, through screaming toddlers and curious adults poking by.  Did she move when the roofer parked their dirty black truck with ladders and pitch 3 feet away from her nest?  No she did not!  Her dedication to her task was one of the most remarkable feats I have ever seen.  Those who try to come too close, even to offer sustenance are un-surreptitiously chased away with hiss, a squawk and a flap of the wings.    Hmmmmmmmmm…..why would you chase away those who bring you food and water silly goose?  We are just trying to help you!!!  Is it that innate response of a mother protecting their young which has been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years?  It has served them well I would say, as often it seems the Canada Geese outnumber people where I live!

So what on earth does old mother goose have to do with Audiology you may say?  Why are you prattling on about an over protective mother and her eggs?  Well, it was the fact that momma goose would not accept help that struck the chord with me or perhaps this is a carryover from last month’s blog about being us all being open and willing to learn.   So staunch and focused is momma goose, that she will forgo good food and water to do what she knows is best.   I think about parents and how they are launched into a world of childhood hearing loss with no experience or knowledge.  They are expected to take a crash course in all that entails, and often make decisions in split seconds about the way to proceed and which avenues to take.  Is it any surprise then that sometimes parents can become overwhelmed and then fall back on the one thing they know they are supposed to do….which is protect their little baby no matter what the cost?   Perhaps if we, as providers, approached our momma goose with more care, patience and empathy, she would be more receptive to our offerings.  Allow her the time to process and assimilate the information we provide.  Do not demand decisions on the spot, and allow her time to integrate what we ask of her.  Take sips of water, if you will, and not demand they drink the whole cup of Kool-Aid!   This is about parents learning not only a new subject, but a whole new language!

As providers, we have to remember that WE are the ones responsible for their grades!   Give them the space to get up, cover those eggs, and walk away for a while.   Yes, we know that the earlier the intervention is the better, but in the long run if they don’t buy what we are selling, follow through will be poor.   Ahhhh sooooooo, the message is now clear….our momma geese are probably hungry and thirsty, probably very tired and more than anything, protective to the to a fault.  They want their little fluffy goslings to be the best gosling they can be and will do anything to ensure that.  Let us be the ones to slowly bow our heads in reverence, and offer the palm leaves of information and guidance without time constraints and demanding decisions.  After all, nothing is more precious than when that fluffy little chick can swim away independently!