How on earth do you administer a hearing test to a toddler, you ask? Why, with these guys, of course:
The audiologist led us back to a hallway covered on either side with these tiny soundproof booths. The one we were in was maybe 5'x5'. There was an office chair in the center, where I sat and held Sadie on my lap. An assistant sat facing us, in perhaps the tiniest chair I have ever seen in my life. I didn't think Sadie would have fit into it, let alone a grown woman. The audiologist went to the other side of a one-way mirror and began administering the test. Now, the assistant in front of us was there to keep Sadie focused toward the center, since there were speakers on either side of us where the sounds would appear. The idea is that the child will turn in the direction of the sound, thus indicating that s/he has heard said sound. Above each speaker was a poster of either Bert or Ernie, and as a "reward" for turning in the correct direction, flashing lights would come on.
Sounds benign, right? Not so much. The flashing light bulbs were in place of Bert & Ernie's eyes. So it was almost demonic, these 2-ft tall posters of puppets with flashing red eyes. Sadie would turn in response to the sound almost immediately, and when the flashing lights came on she kind of cautiously looked up at them, like she was afraid they would eat her. Several times she did a double take, as if to say "What the fork are those things?!?!!!?" Even in between sounds she would eye them suspiciously, possibly just to make sure they hadn't inched ever so closer to her when she wasn't looking. I had a hard time trying not to laugh.
The good news is that she passed with flying colors, so hopefully we don't have to spend any more time with the satanic Muppets.