Selective Hearing

Watching our children develop their personalities has been such a fascinating study in genetics and nature vs. nurture. Ashley, first-born, is her daddy (also first-born) in MANY ways. Riley, the "baby", is just like me (also baby) in equally many ways. But when it comes to listening to conversations around you and/or directed TO you, our house has distinct gender lines.

Ashley and I (as seems to be typical of women) have conversation radar. We can listen to several dialogs at once, all the while mentally filing away important information or calendar items. Troy and Riley? Not so much with the radar. Riley reads EVERYWHERE we go (seriously, he is major bummed if he doesn't have a book in the car for the 4 minute drive to church) so we will have many deep and wonderful conversations in the car with Riley blissfully unaware. I have learned that if I NEED him to be aware of his conversation, I must tell him to tune in, then have him repeat what I need him to know. Bless. Troy, I have come to realize, is a visual, not auditory, learner. If I will email him information, he will process it better than if I tell him. Thank you, Lord, for technology!

All was explained recently when Riley looked at me quizzically at 7:30 on a recent morning. I had clothes AND make-up on. Very rare occurrence for that time of day, indeed. "Are you subbing today?" he asked. "Yes, Riley, I told you that."

"Well, I was probably reading, wasn't I? You KNOW I don't hear you..."

"No, Riley, we actually discussed it last night at dinner."

"Oh, well, I never pay attention to that..."

Good to know.

HOWEVER -- he was tattling to Ashley about me saying a curse word. I was indignant and denied it to the death. I would NEVER say such a word. Okay, I would, but not where he could hear. He finally said, "You were talking to dad. You whispered it, but I still heard you."

So, a conversation that I have looking into his eyeballs, he ignores. A conversation whispered to another person while I am 20 feet away -- now I know the rules.


Roxanne said...

Thad is a filer-away-er. . .but you just never know what he files. And he might not tell you for 4 years. For instance, yesterday I bought a case of mini cereal boxes at Sam's for a "treat" and also because as the school year wanes, we need to eat breakfast in the car more. He requested plain Cornflakes right off the bat today. ????? What was up with that? Well, he said, "Don't you remember snacking on these with me during the hurricane?" I said, "Did we do that?"--thinking of hurricane Ike last fall. He said, "Yes, in the church building lobby." He was talking about hurricane Rita in 2005. . .when he was FOUR!!!!!
Those men!

As far as conversations between their Daddy and me--we have to pull out some BIG GUN vocabulary including Greek and Latin roots and scientific terms to have "private" conversations when the kids are around. They are both so stinking smart, we can't spell anymore. And since we've been having higher level vocabulary "secret" conversations for years, the kids have figured out all the words.

Lisa Laree said...

LOL! Kids have conversation radar of another type...anything Mom and Dad would prefer them not to hear!

A whispered conversation about possibly going out for ice cream after an upcoming event will bring 'em down from upstairs to announce what flavor they want.

A casual mention, while the kids are apparently engrossed in a video game, of the frustrating foibles of a non-family member will come back to haunt you months after you've forgotten it when the child asks in front of said individual if this was the person who did XYZ....

Oh, yeah, they hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest... ;)

Anonymous said...

After teaching kids in church Bible classes for years AND hearing all kinds of stuff their parents would die if they knew it had been repeated, I am SOOOO glad that dogs cannot talk, and even sometimes glad (only at times like this. Oh yeah, and when other people's kids are teenagers) that we don't have kids.

However, I did get caught - and probably BIG TIME - about 3 years ago when I was just getting used to my newly acquired motorized wheelchair...and when we'd just moved and were at our new church. I caught my coat on the stick (it's like a foot feed on a car) and rammed myself into the wall at church.

I do remember yelling something, but I really don't remember what I may have said. Well, I do have some idea, considering how badly it hurt, and considering how my vocabulary had been during this challenging time in life with frustrations of slowly becoming less able to do the things I wanted and needed to do. (It sounds crazy, but it seemed to me that it was the chair's fault that I couldn't do this and that. I'd given it some names it really did not deserve.)

And I hope those who heard me - or heard about it - have forgiven me. It really is better, my confessing it, rather that my kid telling on me!

Design by Deluxe Designs