I then explained how typical hearing works. I said that the sound travels in the ear, vibrates the ear drum and then stimulates the hair cells ("Yuck, I have hair inside my ear?", "No, it just is called hair, it isn't actually hair", "Oh good.") and then the cochlea sends that information to the nerve.
Then I showed her this picture
I said that Mom and Dad have hair cells like the picture on the left, but hers don't work well, like the picture on the left. I said that since her hair cells weren't able to hear, we got her an implant.
Then we looked at these pictures
We talked about the different parts of the internal implant and how the electrode is inside her inner ear. Then she wanted to better understand how it got there. She asked about the surgery, and what exactly the doctor did to get the implant inside her ear. So, we watched this
Miss Kat thought that the surgery was "gross" and that she was glad that she didn't have to do it! (Guess CI surgeon is off the list of possible vocations!)
Overall, I thought that she understood very well, and asked a lot of great questions. I know this will not be the last time we discuss the matter, but she wasn't upset or sad at all. She knows that she is deaf and that Mom and Dad are hearing. She knows lots of Deaf and deaf kids and adults, but she also knows that most people she encounters in the world are hearing, and she isn't and never will be.