Laura on Life

Hearing loss          Send a link to a friend

By Laura Snyder

[October 22, 2007] If you've got children and you haven't bought a DVD player for your minivan, you have no idea how much peace and quiet you are missing. We finally broke down and bought one a few months ago, and I haven't heard so much silence since before they were born.

I recently cleaned out the car and mistakenly took out all the DVDs, and as a result, the children didn't have anything to do on our car ride yesterday. As much as I enjoyed the silence for the last few months, however, I realized that I was missing a whole lot of other good stuff. Like the strange turns in the conversations my husband and I have when the kids are allowed to just jump right in.

I forgot that they didn't have anything to occupy them until I mentioned to my husband that a carnival would be coming to town. My 10-year-old thought I said "carnivore."

"Like a T. rex?" he asked.

"A T. rex? What on earth are you talking about?" I was confused by the twist in the conversation. Because of the random comments that come flying out of his mouth on a constant basis, I didn't make the connection between "carnival" and "carnivore." My husband caught it, though. He must've been just like my 10-year-old about 35 years ago.

"Not carnivore; carnival," he said, not quite realizing what that word would do to a car full of kids. Pandemonium erupted in the Snyder-mobile.

"A carnival!!" All three shouted in unison. And, as if it was planned, they all asked, "Can we go?"

"Well, maybe," I hedged, "Your brother's boss will have a booth there. Maybe we can visit."

My daughter, apparently having the same hearing affliction as my son, asked, "Is it a wild moose?"

Dismissing the fact that most moose (mooses? meese?) are wild, making the question somewhat redundant, I again did not make the connection.

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"Is what a wild moose?" I asked. I thought that maybe I was the one with the hearing difficulties. How could she possibly get wild moose out of going to a carnival?

Again, my husband got it. "Not moose; booth. Like a place to sell stuff at the carnival."

Her moosey mistake, of course, set them on a path of no return. They started laughing and carrying on, arms and legs flying hither and yon. If we weren't in the close confines of a car, it wouldn't have been bad, but it's hard to drive with all that noise.

After a few admonishments didn't work, we had to pull out our ace card: "If you can't calm down, you're all going to be grounded!"

My 5-year-old's hearing is fine, but his vocabulary apparently needs to be fine-tuned. As they all quieted down we could hear his small voice in the back say, "Yeah, and you know what grounded means," he said. "It means they're going to bury us in a hole in the ground."

My husband and I looked at each other in shock, both thinking the same thing: Is that really what he thinks we're going to do?! Good heavens!

We couldn't help it -- we burst into uncontrollable laughter. The sort of laughter that we just scolded our kids about. It occurred to me later that our laughter probably sounded pretty sinister to a kid who thought we were going to bury him in the ground.

[Text from file received from Laura Snyder]

You can reach the writer at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com. Or visit www.lauraonlife.com for more columns and info about her new book.

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