Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Can't Hear You!

Ever get the feeling that you're shouting your heart out and no one's listening? I don't mean in that sad, my-heart-is-breaking-and-no-one-seems-to-care way, although that sometimes happens. No, I mean you're actually talking and no one seems to be listening. Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's because I'm the only female in a house full of males. Sometimes I'm convinced they really do think I'm talking just to hear the sound of my own voice.
I can tell when my guys zone out. I'll be simply chattering along and suddenly a glazed look comes over their eyes. They may even still be looking in my general direction, but their brain has definitely passed on to something else. When that happens I'll throw something unusual into the conversation. I'll say something along the lines of, "So then I ran out of the house naked, swinging the chicken over my head." That usually brings them back.
At other times, they don't even really pretend to be listening anymore. They'll be distracted by something on the TV, another conversation nearby, or a bee buzzing in a bush. (They're easily amused.) They give an occasional "uh huh" to the conversation, but they're long gone. Then I usually stop speaking. Silence reigns for a moment or two (sometimes an embarrassingly long moment!) and then they jerk their gaze back toward me with a dazed look, as though they just woke up.
It's not much better when I'm getting after one of my boys. The younger ones show their thoughts on their face: "How much trouble am I in? What's the punishment going to be?" They're so worried about that they don't hear the rest of what I'm saying. The older ones will stare at the floor and their voices go into a monotone: "Yes, ma'am. No, ma'am." This is especially true if they don't agree with me. They wouldn't dare argue back, but their thoughts are still pretty clear.
In those cases I take the problem to the head of the home. He can straighten them out. Except that sometimes, while I'm explaining the incident, his attention strays ...
After reading this post, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm just so boring that I can't hold their attention. But then, hey! You read through this whole thing, didn't you? Of course, I can't see if your eyes are glazed ...

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