I’ve noticed that having small children is making me go deaf. Not because of their screaming and yelling and shrieking and toppling over of tall wooden block towers and stomping about the house like small elephants, even though they do all five incessantly. Heck, if they had access to dynamite, they’d be blowing things up in the backyard everyday merely to enjoy the noise. No, I’ve noticed that I choose to go deaf because they talk so much. My eldest is practicing to be an auctioneer. He rattles off speech like the sun gives off light. Endless, powerful, fast. So I choose to be deaf.
This is a bad choice on my part because it results in some miscommunication. My sons say one thing. I, due to being selectively deaf and not paying attention, hear something else. A typical conversation goes something like this:
Son #1 (what I hear): Dad, I’d like to devote my life to taking care of the poor. Mostly unwashed minority lepers, probably.
Me: Sounds good.
Son #1: (what he actually said): Dad, I’m going to borrow your skillsaw and cut a new doorway for my room. Two new doors, probably.
Me: Sounds good.
Son #2: (what I hear): Dad, can I practice piano for two hours today, followed by several hours of Latin memorization?
Son #2: (what he actually said): Dad, can we sell Tobi to the gypsies and then use the money to buy a Deathstar Lego set?
Thankfully, Son #3 doesn’t really talk much yet, other than monosyllabic shouts and bouts of deliberate burping (the wonder of free will at work). This latter behavior of his causes his brothers to scream with laughter. Which can be rather loud.
So, being deaf really isn’t a bad thing. Though, when they reach their teen years, I suppose I’ll have to sharpen my hearing.