Friday, 13 November 2009


Why do boys (and grown men, come to think of it) seem to have the ability to turn deafness on whenever the need arises? Here is my conversation at bedtime with Toby, who was reading the Guinness Book of Records at the same time....

Me: "Toby, go and clean your teeth please."

Toby: "The oldest Dad in the world is 92."

Me: "Toby, please can you go and do your teeth?"

Toby: "And the oldest person in the world is 113 years 13 days. And it's a woman."

Me: "Toby, you need to do your teeth."

Toby: "Did you know how old the oldest man is in world?"

Me: "No, I didn't, but please can you clean your teeth because it's bedtime."

..... And the conversation continued until eventually he realised I was actually speaking English to him and he went to clean his teeth. Well, he finally cleaned his teeth after he had stood in front of the bathroom mirror for 5 minutes pulling silly faces at himself.

Why do boys do this? I remember taking Toby for a hearing test when he was 3. I was convinced he had some kind of deafness, only to be told that he had perfect hearing but selective deafness might have been a factor! Even men do this. Have you ever tried having a conversation with a man when he is engrossed in a football match / war film / newspaper? It is exactly the same response! They must be born with an ability to block out the outside world. What a useful skill that must be.


babyboys said...

we definately have selective deafness in our house, and steve is by far the worse, it drives me mad! how can he possibly not hear Dylan asking the same question 6 times when i can hear it from the other room!

Pauln said...

Men cannot multi-task, and unfortunately, that includes listening to you whilst doing something else. Get him to put down his book (closed, otherwise he will be concentrating on trying to sneek a peak at the page...) and give you eye contact, at least at the start of the instruction. Give him the instruction, and then get him to repeat it back to you! Then tell him when he has successfully completed the task he can go back to his book.
I grew up with a sister who cannot multi task, which is unusual in a girl, but she still can't. It's extremely frustrating sometimes, but you have to make sure they are listening to you before you speak, otherwise you are just wasting your breath!

Anonymous said...

the last comment was from Pam, not Paul, obviously! Sorry.