Maggi Summerhill: Being shot… by a Nerf gun

Posted on April 4, 2012

My children have grown up with their mother’s hearing being a bit variable.

Some days it would be up, other days it would be down, depending a bit on whether my hearing aid had reached the end of it’s capabilities and a lot on my Ménière’s and tinnitus.

It was no big deal for them really. It just meant some days they had to shout, and others they could speak normally.

I would give everyone a thumbs up or down in the morning so they knew which it was going to be!

One day before Christmas a couple of years ago, I suddenly lost the ability to understand speech – however loud anyone was shouting.

This was something we were not prepared for and to be honest we took it very badly. However, as it became clear there was no quick fix or miracle forthcoming we realised I had to learn to be a deaf mum.

I’m still learning and I thought I would share one part of the journey with you – relating to Nerf guns.

Our upstairs living space is open plan and divided into three areas. First you have the study area, with computer and bookshelves, the open fireplace with comfy seating and finally the TV area, which doubles as a gaming area for the boys.

We spend most evenings up here and as often as we pile on the sofa together we are absorbed in our own separate activities. I might be in front of the fire with my laptop and Rob in the study area on his computer, the boys in the TV area; Alex sketching and Chris playing a game.

Anyway, there are times when either of the hearing members of the family have something to share with me and need to get my attention.

Rolled up socks, rubbers, pencils, magazines and other items more or less suitable as missiles have been employed for that purpose.

I have made a complaint about this as their aim is pretty bad and I often end up hurt and annoyed (!)

We had a family meeting and I suggested they each had a bag of soft balls they could throw at me, but this idea was abandoned on the grounds they would have to wrestle the dog to get them back as she was bound to chase them.

It was not until this Sunday a solution was agreed – Nerf guns. The boys each have an arsenal of guns to choose from, but Daddy didn’t have one!

So we went on a mission to sort this out. Fortunately he settled for a small hand gun (he sits closest to my favorite spot in front of the fire and despite the bullets being made of foam they can be hard hitting at close range).

The boys however have rapid fire things with names like Raven, Barrelbreak, and Stampede.

Needless to say the idea had to be tested out immediately and this is how I ended up spending most of Sunday evening getting shot.

The trials of a deaf mother, eh?

Maggi describes herself as a “self-made billionaire. No, that was just to grab your attention – If I had been more organized I probably would be a millionaire, alas, I spend two thirds of my life looking for something I’ve just put down…. somewhere. When I am productive I write…lots, I volunteer with Hearing Link, look after my children and walk the dog. You can follow her on Twitter as @maggisummerhill

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