As was briefly mentioned below, DOB lost his voice last week. He hasn't found it yet.
I will gloss over the difficulties this poses him at work (where he had to contact numerous clients to make essential adjustments before the end of the year, and where he's added a new boss starting this week) and focus on the important part: me.
Many romantic young couples believe they can communicate without a word, so deep is their level of sympathy. We thought we had a deep, instinctive level of understanding early on, too. It turns out this is not the case, which is good, because what is the use of being married to someone who thinks just like you do? Not only is it boring, it's terribly narrow-minded. We practically always agree once we've talked through everything and have a far better view of the world from having considered it from the other's perspective.
But if we can't talk--well, we're two trains travelling on different tracks at different speeds from different stations and you don't even want to do the math.
Furthermore, I hope I never go deaf, because I am terrible at reading signs, signals, lip movements, or the finger alphabet. (I can USE the finger alphabet, I just can't READ it. Unfortunately, I'm not the one without a voice.)
So a conversation with DOB goes like this:
QOC: Um . . . D?
DOB: (Shakes head)
QOC: P? That's not a P.
DOB: (Gestures harder)
QOC: I don't care what you think, that's not a letter.
DOB: (Gestures some more)
QOC: Oh, you're counting. Um . . . Two? D . . . 2? Oh, D2! What about D2? Do you want me to tell him to stop what he's doing? I told him he could do that.
DOB: (Shakes head, more indistinguishable gestures)
QOC: Um . . . so . . . what else should I do about D2?
DOB: (Gives up in disgust.)
Fortunately DOB got a surplus laptop so we can now communicate via instant messenger. This should be very romantic, as this is how we first met. However, back then I believe we both had the opportunity to engage in an activity known as "sleep" which we have since forsworn. In consequence, our communications were far wittier back then. Now they go more like this:
QOC: I'm tired. We should put the kids to bed.
DOB: You have to. I can't talk.
QOC: You have to. I can't move.
It's OK, though, because D1 and D2 have discovered they can put themselves to bed, without any adult involvement. In fact, it's more fun without it. So please don't investigate such matters as Thoroughness of Teeth Brushing and Doctrinal Correctness of Bedtime Prayer.
There is one finger letter I have mastered: "T." It stands for "tea." As in "a big, hot cuppatea please, preferably with honey and lemon." That much, I can do.