|Who farted? Oops.|
The most common question I get from people is, "Is there anybody else who is Deaf in your family?" My answer is: Nope, I am the only Deaf person in my family.
Growing up, it had been loads of fun along with some frustration. I grew up with three other siblings in the household: my brother, and two cousins (I call them my own sister and brother even though they are my blood cousins--we are very close) along with Mom and Aunt. Alex, my brother, and I also lived with my Dad half of the time until we eventually moved in with him during our college years.
What is it like living with a hearing family? I am very fortunate to have everybody to be able to sign. This is not very common. Many Deaf friends I have grew up in a very isolating environment because none or a very few family members signed. I do feel very empathetic toward them, but I can't relate with them on this issue. All of my happy memories are composed of love and laughter while signing to each other across the room. It outweighs the bad or the frustrations I had as a Deaf person growing up in a hearing family.
One of my funniest memories is subtle communication or rather acknowledgement that something had happened and wanted me to be included. And....it is.....farting!
Of course, I can't hear if someone farts. I sit there, puzzled, and unsure why everybody is laughing in the room while the guilty one blushes or blames it on the dog. So my family, I won't name names but you know who you are, comes up with a subtle or rather not so subtle action to show me that they are farting. When someone feels a fart coming on; the person lifts the leg like a dog and makes a funny facial expression or blow their lips, and laugh at my reaction. I am able to join in with other kids and scream EWWWWW.
Or this, even more gross approach, which is my brother's favorite...of course....which is running up to me then sitting by me while saying nothing. He knows that I am unable to hear it and takes advantage of the situation. A moment passes while Alex farts without my knowledge. Suddenly...I smell something really gross and I squeal in disgust as Alex screams/signs, SBD, SBD, SBD, SBD! Now, SBD is an abbrevation for Silent but Deadly. Thanks, Alex, I love you too.
Or sometimes, one of the kids or guilt party (family members) will blow a raspberry while farting. I think they take a great pleasure in hearing me squeal in disgust and run away.
As I grew older; this tactic has been greatly reduced, but I do catch my friends or particular family members doing this, and we all laugh about it.
You may be wondering is this behavior is only found in my family? Think again. Apparently, my family is not the only kooky, funny ones!