posted by Joe Anaya on October 10th, 2011

I know my kid can hear me. We’ve had him tested. I know every parent goes through this. I’ve talked to them. But it is still annoying to give instructions and realize he hasn’t heard a single word beyond, “Listen, I want you to…”. Now to be fair, he isn’t just “not hearing” our calls to do chores, finish homework and whatnot, although that is the majority of it. He has also missed calls for dessert, announcements of movie night, and other things he normally enjoys.

Heaven help me when his grandmother (my mother-in-law) is in town. The two of them are like dogs ignoring their master once they’ve cornered a squirrel. “Eat more of the vegetables.” “Huh?” they grunt. “Turn the TV down.” “WHAT?” they shout.

It took years of pleading to get Grandma to admit that she needed a hearing aide. Early on, she often accused her daughters of intentionally whispering or mumbling. “Why would we do that?” “To force me to get a hearing aide.” And in her defense, she does have moments of surprising acuity, especially when it involves whispering about her while in the other room.

In the case of my son, I guess I could look at it as superior powers of concentration. Powers that will help him in the long run, right? When he’s on a deadline at a high-pressure job and he has to focus in on what needs to be done. Or maybe even an exciting sporting event on the road, with two seconds on the clock, down by one, he reduces the crowd noise and announcers to an emptiness and concentrates on the shot. But who am I kidding, we all know he’s really just ignoring me because what I have to say isn’t as interesting as whatever he has going on in his head.

My wife accuses me of doing the same thing. And she certainly has used it to her advantage. Claiming I agreed to see some chick flick with her. “I never agreed to that. Why would I?” “You were sitting right there, watching the game and said ‘Okay.’” Well, I might have. But she can’t really expect me to listen while the game is on, can she?

File Under King of the Castle