Developing supernatural hearing
Our son James has really started talking to himself a lot lately.
It’s not that he is playing or greeting an imaginary friend. It usually follows after I give him instructions to do something he really isn’t too excited about doing.
“What did you say,” I asked, after hearing a few grumbles and sighs.
“I was talking to myself,” he responded, looking down.
Not until I had children of my own did I fully realize the sensitive hearing of mothers. My hearing has reached new horizons along the lines of a bat or dolphin. Similar to their advanced sonar system, I hear everything.
So it doesn’t take very much for me to hear these “private” conversations James has with himself.
My grandmother had the best hearing even though she wore two hearing aids and claimed to be deaf. Growing up, I had to almost holler at her for her to be able to hear me.
“Maw Maw, I’m going outside,” I said, running out the screen door.
“Do what,” she asked, from the laundry room.
Throwing my bicycle down on the gravel driveway, I would huff and puff as I ran back inside to repeat myself.
Now mind you, this same elderly lady who claimed to be hard of hearing could hear you whisper in another state if the conversation revolved around her.
My cousin and I would be playing in my room. Upset about having to eat our vegetables or take out the trash, we would vent about Maw Maw. I can remember one time my cousin said Maw Maw was “stupid.”
Within seconds, I could hear the skillet fall (more like slam) into the sink. Maw Maw’s footsteps would shake the entire house as she made her way down the long hallway to my bedroom.
In the distance I could hear the dog being kicked out of the way and my Paw Paw saying a prayer.
There were times I debated even jumping out the window. But Maw Maw would enter that room with such gusto and strength that I would be frozen with fear.
That one smart comment about her resulted in a switching and a firm talk.
After the battle was over, she would return to the kitchen as if nothing has happened.
It would baffle my cousin and me for years about Maw Maw’s selective hearing.
Sitting in church, Maw Maw disrupted the entire ladies pew when her hearing aid began buzzing. That ringing sounded like the bell chapels of the Notre Dame cathedral. Dogs were howling in the yard. The choir seemed to pitch the hymnal based on her device’s hum.
And Maw Maw never noticed.
People would speak to her, and she couldn’t hear them. It was quite the talk of the church when it appeared as if Maw Maw ignored the preacher’s wife’s comment about her dress.
Maw Maw was stone deaf that morning in church.
Sitting a few pews back with the other children, my cousin and I started whispering about how ridiculous our aunt looked in a new hat she bought for the special homecoming service.
It looked like a giant armadillo with a tail for a sash hanging down the back of it.
As we quietly giggled about the massive hat, we never saw Maw Maw heading back our way.
With such sheer force, her large hips broke in between us like the parting of the Red Sea. That was her way of letting us know that it was time to be seen and not heard. She even sat on my cousin’s hand that would later turn blue because she couldn’t hear him asking her to get up for a second.
Once again, the same lady who couldn’t hear anything all of a sudden heard us cutting up in the back pew.
I think I am slowly developing that same condition. I can’t hear James hollering at me from the kitchen. But the second he grumbles a remark, I can hear it perfectly.
“I don’t know where he gets it from,” I said to Jason, during a rant in the kitchen. “Then he tells me he was talking to himself. I know good and well, he was being smart.”
Looking down, Jason begins to mumble.
“What,” I asked, throwing my dish rag in the sink.
“Huh,” he asked. “Oh, nothing. I was just talking to myself.”