‘Kids, get your shoes and coats on, it’s time to go to school now.’
‘Come on you lot, time to get ready for school.’
‘GET YOUR STUFF ON NOW OR WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE!’
‘Alright, alright, mummy, why do you always have to shout.’
This is a frequent occurrence in my house. On a daily basis my three children test my patience to the limit with their selective hearing, or selective deafness as I like to call it.
I stand accused of shouting at them, a lot, but in my defence I find that when I shout it’s the only time a get a response. I have to repeat myself so many times it is getting to the point where I don’t even like the sound of my own voice anymore.
I wonder if my voice is similar to one of those whistles that only dogs can hear, or maybe I will be able to communicate more effectively with dolphins! I haven’t tried that yet, so I’ll have to come back to you on that one.
It seems as though any other distraction is enough to make me invisible, be it the television a game (electronic or physical, it doesn’t matter) or just a general conversation that I am not a part of. It often gives me the feeling that I am only needed when I am needed and the rest of the time I might as well not exist.
I have wondered whether the children have hearing problems. But the girls both had grommets fitted when they were younger, so their hearing should be fine. My son hasn’t had a hearing test since he was a baby, though. He says ‘pardon’ a lot and I have started to wonder if there is a problem, but I get the impression that he doesn’t listen, rather than he doesn’t hear.
The reason I think this is because the other day I whispered to my husband to ask what he thought about taking the iPad to a restaurant we were going to. From the other side of the room my son shouted:
‘Who’s going on the iPad? I’d like to go on the iPad?’
You see, it’s selective deafness again!
So what do I do about it? Do I keep nagging at them incessantly and carry on being accused of ‘always shouting’, or is there another way of getting my point across?
My alternative idea is to buy a whistle or a gong. I have a feeling that it might help me to get some attention. Now if someone were to invent a whistle that only children could hear and respond to…