One of my biggest worries for Christian is how he will keep up socially. Often, it's difficult for children with hearing loss, especially those who wear CIs to keep up with conversations and to pick-up on social cues. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but so far, Christian is doing more than keeping up. Most of the times, he's the leader.
I've had an opportunity to watch him during birthday parties (we're in full swing in his class (most of the kids are November and December birthdays), soccer class, with the neighborhood boys, and in playgroup. All of these situations are outside of what should be his comfort zone: small group settings. While I know he's not catching everything, I've seen him use some self-advocacy skills that any Momma of a D/HOH kid would be proud of. He's learned to pick-up on the social cues that I have been so worried that he would miss to anticipate what comes next. He's watching what his peers are doing (great for keeping up, but not so great sometimes for behavior!). He's working really hard on listening "the first time", and remembering to ask his friends, coaches, or other parents to "Say it again, ok?".
Just yesterday as Chuck was putting our Christmas lights up, Christian was playing with his "neighborhood big brothers" Timmy and Lucas. They are 1st Graders, and just about the sweetest guys you'll meet. They are best friends, and they are always on the look-out for Christian. Christian LOVES Timmy and Lucas, and thinks it is so neat that the big boys are his buddies. I couldn't help but eavesdrop on some conversations and exchanges they were having, and got teary eyed listening to my almost 3-year old having FULL conversations with 1st Graders! Lucas asked Christian "What do you want to do, Christian?", to which he responded "How about we go in the back-yard and play Transformers?" They then ran around to the back and I heard various sound effects coming from all 3 of them. And I was happy.