My Toddler Has A Raging Case of Selective Hearing

The older my toddler gets, the more amazing and fun...and annoying... he is. Now, at the ripe age of two-yearsand four-months, he can hold a conversation, ask questions, make jokes, sing songs, recognize numbers, letters, shapes and colors, and a few other things that clearly show he is brilliant, but what's really amazing about all of that, is that he managed to learn it all with ears that appear to only let in about 10% of sound. Or at least that's how much of what I say to him appears to be heard.

The biggest slap in the face is that sometimes my kid acts like a complete fool just to see how I will react. Is he already so bored with life and his plethora of toys, that to find amusement he has to mess with me?

Ollie, don't you dare pull that plug...
Huh? What, Mommy?

It absolutely blows my mind how toddlers have this inherent need to test limits... Over and over and over...

For example, my toddler has this thing about getting into a car that drives me CRAZY! Here is how it plays out... when we leave the house to go to the car, he darts to the yard and runs around until, after plenty of bargaining and threats, I have to run after him and catch him, or, knowing it will be an issue, I carry him from the house to the car, while he kicks and screams like I am trying to kidnap him. EVERY DAMN TIME! Then once I have him in the car we have the same talk about how that behavior is naughty, and that I am very disappointed. Then I make one threat or another about no park or toys. He could care less, he already had his fun. By now, he knows better, but apparently would rather get in trouble than listen.

Other things that I say regularly that do not appear to be heard are...

  • Stop slamming the door.
  • Don't you dare run away from me.
  • Stop chasing the cat.
  • STOP! (In general)
  • Don't throw your toys.
  • Pick that toy up.
  • If you behave in the store then...
  • Eat your vegetables.
  • Please don't throw your food at the cat.
  • Please stop driving your car into me/the door/the wall...
  • You have to wear pants and a shirt.
  • You cannot go outside without your shoes on.
  • Lay still your are going to get poop everywhere.

Really the list goes on, but I am sure you get the idea.

Now, for the list of things he never fails to hear...

  • Do you want a cookie/ice cream/cupcake?
  • Do you want to go shopping?
  • Do you want to make a choo choo track?
  • Wanna go for a walk?
  • Wanna go to the park?
  • What do you want to eat for dinner? (Not that he is going to eat it.)
  • Bob the Builder is on!

Clearly, there is a pattern here-- If it's awesome he hears it, if it it's not awesome, forget it. 

Damn the terrible twos... I feel like I am a broken record stuck on saying "NO!" and "Dammit why me?" I keep trying to charge my childless neighbors for the birth control I provide on a daily basis.  I'm pretty sure they hear us coming and run to the window to watch the comedy show unfold.

As much as I want to say, this too shall pass, I know this selective hearing pattern all too well, I followed it as a kid... My mom finally broke the pattern when I was old enough to understand that if I didn't listen, I would lose my Nintendo for a week. I sure did listen up when the thought of not saving the princess was on the line.

I cannot wait until the day comes when that kid finally understands that I control who saves the princess and when.

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April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit