This year's halloween was a world away from last year.
Last year, we were two days pre-surgery. We were worried about Miss Kat, worried about complications and recovery, just, really, worried about everything.
Last year Miss Kat was wearing hearing aids that weren't very effective anymore. She couldn't hear us call her from very far away, so we made sure to stick very close to her.
Last year was our first year trick or treating in this neighborhood, so when people would ask Miss Kat a question they were always surprised when we would interpret it back to her, and then would come the questions...."Is she deaf?", "How long have you been signing?", "Was it hard to learn sign?", and on and on...
This year was totally different!
Miss Kat was actually knocking on doors and saying "Trick or Treat!" Ok, so it sounded like "twitwee", but who cares! We definitely never thought she would learn that phrase. Before her CI, it was way too much work for her to learn words to spend that time on something as trivial as "Trick or Treat". Plus, it would have never been intelligible enough for anyone to understand, so we just signed it.
This year, Miss Kat told everyone that she was "Ariel" and that Daddy was "Daddy, prince mermaid" and I was "Octopus witch RRRAARRR".
Miss Kat is still, maybe, 30% intelligible (we understand 99.99%) but the fact that she is communicating through spoken language is amazing and sometimes even dumbfounding.
What a difference a year makes!