Tuscans love their bread! Dry schiaccia in the morning, Baccinello bread with lunch and dinner, focaccia with cooked ham as a snack, neverending bread. Personally, and luckily I don't like the bread here or I would be a house. The bread they eat with meals is this dry, salt-free mega-loaf, which compliments the salty pasta sauces, that just doesn't quite stimulate the tastebuds...nothing like Tio Pepe's steaming, crusty, buttered bread brought to the table before your meal!(Can you tell it's lunchtime and I haven't eaten, yet?) Anyway, there is a point to all of this and I'm getting to it.
Not only is bread an inherent part of the culture, but bread-buying is a standard daily procedure in this town. People go on a daily basis to the town bakery to step right up and order their mega-loaf or dry schiaccia. I am proud to say that Jordan is part of this tradition. He walks up to the counter, says "Good Morning," selects his dry schiaccia, makes and returns some small talk with the ladies, says, "Thank you very much," pays and heads for the door. Sometimes (rarely) the cashier needs to remind him to take his change and she'll call out, "Hey Jordan, you forgot your change!" Jordan turns around, because thanks to his cochlear implant, he hears her, goes to collect his change and then heads for the door, but now he's running because he has to catch the bus to go to Middle School!
Going into a bakery and ordering a piece of bread may seem like a piece of cake (sorry, couldn't resist) but you can't even imagine all that goes into that little scenario. When he began entering the supermarket as a consumer- not just as a kid accompanying his mother- he had hearing aids. We had to first write down what he needed to buy at the supermarket, then I walked him through correct supermarket behavior and supervised him as he made his requests, helping him to understand possible questions or procedures that he encountered. For example, when ordering cold cuts, how many ounces or pounds he would need to order. This went on about ten times before I sent him in on his own...and eventually out on his own...
The cochlear implant facilitates this process as the device enables him to hear much better than he did with his hearing aids, so that when the cashier calls to Jordan as he is leaving, he will be able to hear her voice and return for his change.