Hearing is important.
Judging by the fact that we have two ears and only one mouth, hearing is twice as important as speaking.
Our four-year-old eldest son was having hearing troubles.
He couldn't hear me when I spoke to him.
I would call and call and get no reaction.
Often, I would have to touch him before he would turn and look at me.
We decided to get his hearing checked.
Because there were obvious problems.
Dutifully, we reported to the hearing centre and took up residence in one of their little booths.
The specialist put the headphones on my son.
Set a large picture book in front of him.
And started a voice recording.
We heard “Touch the cow.”
“Touch the cat.”
He did so.
“Touch the monkey.”
The specialist put another set of headphones on herself and plugged them in.
For my Husby and I, the sounds ceased.
But our son kept working so the voice must have continued speaking.
There would be a pause.
Then Mark would point.
In all of his four years, I'd never seen him this obedient.
I should mention that my husband offered to buy the machine.
Back to my story . . .
Every few seconds, the specialist turned the volume knob down.
Our son kept pointing.
She turned the knob again.
Still he pointed.
Finally, she took her headphones off and looked at us. “In my opinion, there's absolutely nothing wrong with this boy's hearing,” she said. “In fact I would say that it's better than excellent. He's still pointing and I haven't been able to hear anything for the last two minutes!”
Okay. So his problem wasn't mechanical.
In fact our son had just introduced us to a new concept in hearing.
He had been, to put it simply, ignoring me.
Quite effectively, in fact.
And with this concept he, and later, his siblings, also brought into our life such wonderful sayings as, “Are your ears painted on?!” or “Ears are purely decorative!” or “I'm sure there's a switch on your bottom that will turn those ears on!”
Moving forward thirty years . . .
We've discovered that our grandchildren suffer from the same malady as our children.