July 25, 2016

Selective Listening: Things Kids DO Hear

Category: Critter Stories

A conversation with Spud during lunch at home:

Spud: Mama, I heard what you said this morning and I know what you mean…

Me (a little puzzled): Uh? What did I say?

Spud: You said, “Oh boy!” And I know what you mean


Spud (giggling): Mama, this morning you said, “Oh boy! It’s half day!” I heard you.

Me (with a raised eyebrow and almost bursting into laughter): Oh dear! Did I say that?!

Spud: You did, Mama. This morning. You didn’t say it so loud, but I heard you. I absolutely know what you mean, Mama.

Me (bursting into laughter): Oh? What do you think I mean?

Spud: When you said, “Oh boy! It’s half day!” I know that’s because we finish school early…and then when we are home and you have lots to do and we play and then we fight. And then you have to scream. And you have to scream a lot of times. (she said all of that without a pause, in one continuous breath)

Me (laughing quite hard by now and thinking did I really mutter that): And why do you think I have to scream?

Spud: That’s because we didn’t listen!

Me: Uh-huh. Well, you see, if you both had listened, then I don’t have to repeat myself a dozen times before having to scream at all. And that’s all you have to do. Behave. Listen. Don’t fight.

Spud: I know, Mama.

Then and there I was thinking: Damn! Of all the things she hears!

God forbid for all those times I have had to repeat myself like a broken record because they choose not to hear no matter how gentle I said it and then I’d have to end up screaming anyway just to get their attention. And the one thing she heard was the stuff I utter under my breath!

At least we were laughing about it.

Note to self:

Keep your thoughts to yourself. But, on the hindsight, perhaps I should be muttering to myself more and often. They seem to be more attentive to what I say.   


Image credit: Google Image

Posted by:    |    12 Comment
  1. I’m going to try muttering today too. That may be the key to parenting well. They sure listen when we don’t want them to! 😘

  2. Haha. Funny what people can hear if they want to and not hear if they don’t want to.

  3. Lol… kids ‘hear’ the darndest things; )

  4. Yep, they hear what they want to hear 🙂

    • Indeed, Sandra. And they have super sharp hearing when it comes to all the not-so-good-things. I cannot believe she picked up a mutter! :/

  5. LOL, I love it! Kids do have selective hearing (like husbands, ha!). I used to whisper “do you want ice cream?” whenever I wanted to get my daughter’s attention. She could hear that with no problem… 🙂

    • She wasn’t supposed to hear the mutters, Jas! Husbands are like that too…agreed! LOL. I do that too sometimes..do you want ice-cream…chocolates…and the good stuff that make them perk up. LOL. Kids!

  6. Crash and Bang are exactly the same way! I can whisper something to DW while we’re upstairs and two floors down in the basement they’ll hear me and come running asking if that’s what I really said. But sitting at the dinner table I’ll ask them to clear their plates and they walk away as if I was on mute. Perhaps, like you, I’ll just start whispering everything 🙂

    • Kids are funny creatures, aren’t they. Such a young age and they are already practising selective hearing. Maybe that’s what they do in their head, turn on the mute. LOL
      **And we should totally start whispering everything** (to be said/read in a whisper)


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