Sunday, October 17, 2010

The hearing loss excuse

Julia may be the pokiest child on the planet.  Unless she's about to do something she's really excited about, the act of putting on two socks can take forty minutes.  I stay close by reminding her, "put your socks on.... put your socks on."

I ask nicely two times.  The third time I use stern mommy voice.  Julia does not like stern mommy voice.  It's just a tiny bit nicer than my angry mom yell.

Stern instructions often lead to the whining, "I didn't hear you" response.

Millions of kids say this to their parents every second.  They say it with every toy that can't find it's way back on the shelf and every shoe that resists being put on a little foot.  It's just an excuse.

It's a sticky issue in this house though.  Maybe Julia doesn't hear me sometimes.  I'm almost sure it's because she's singing/arguing/thinking about spaghetti.  She doesn't pay attention, so missing instructions is a product of her distraction, not her hearing loss.  This is my theory, but I can't know for sure.  I doubt myself and feel guilty for getting tough.

The guilt isn't enough to stop me from cranking up the volume for that third plea to put on clothes or whatever crazy mom thing I want her to do.  It occurs to me that we're quite normal, me and Jules.  I resist the urge to blame her hearing loss.  I am a normal mom.  I try to be a good, although cranky, model.

Perhaps with enough practice, she'll understand that "not hearing" and ignoring your mother are different things.  She won't make an excuse based on her hearing aids.  That's the best I can hope for because I'm sure just listening to your mom is never an option.

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