First Response


This is the initial response I get from my children when I ask them a question.  Although the answer does vary...sometimes it's "what?" and, more often than I would like occasionally it's just a blank stare.  With maybe a raised eyebrow.  That's if I'm lucky.

Does this happen to anyone else?

Yes, my oldest son has some loss of hearing in one ear from chronic ear problems (there's a hole in one of his eardrums now, as a matter of fact).  BUT, it's minor, and he has another perfectly good ear, and typically I am standing right in front of him when I ask him these questions.

And they are not hard questions.  I'm not asking him to explain the value of pi or which female poet is his favorite.  There are no quantum physics or foreign languages or American history in my questions.

"Where is your coat?"
"What is that on your face?"
"Did you take your medicine?"
"Where are your shoes?"
"What is wrong with your hair?  Is that syrup?"
"Did you brush your teeth?  Did you wash your hands?  Did you use soap?" (This line of questioning is the most likely to be followed by blank stares, which tells me everything I need to know.  I guess I should be proud that they're not lying about it, they're just pretending they don't know what my words mean.  Clever.)

My 10th grade science teacher, when asked what he deemed a stupid question (in other words, one he'd given us the answer to but the offender obviously wasn't listening) would respond, "you're not deaf and I don't stutter."  Charming.  But now I get it.  Still, charming.

The other morning as I was brushing the Meems' hair and she was putting toothpaste on her toothbrush, I reminded her to be neat and remember to put the top back on.


Not "what" as in "what - I didn't hear you," but "put the top back on what?"  You can tell by her inflection.

"The toothpaste."

"What toothpaste?"

Really.  "IN YOUR HAND."  Sigh.


This is one of those aspects of parenthood about which no one warns you.

Yes, you get the pleasure of discovering this madness all on your own.


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