Selective hearing at its best

standard October 9, 2007 3 responses

Little L started to fuss and I cracked an eye open to check the time.
7:53am. Very respectable. I reached into her bassinet and pulled her towards me. As I struggled to unwrap her from her swaddle I listened for sounds from the kitchen. Nothing.
I settled Little L at my breast and listened some more. No toddler chatter. No heavy footfalls. No clinking dishes. In fact, the whole house had that “no one’s home” stillness.
I checked the clock again. 8:04. It seemed unbelievable, but there was no doubt about it, M and C had left without saying goodbye.
I listened some more, but no sounds emerged and I let myself sink back into sleep.

An hour later I roused myself and eased Little L off my breast. She slept on and I tiptoed out of the room.
“You left without saying goodbye!” I IMed M, irate that he would begrudge me my morning kisses from C.
“NO!” He wrote back. “We said goodbye. You didn’t hear us! We stood there in the room and called your name, but you didn’t wake up.”

I had trouble believing him, but he wouldn’t lie about something that stupid (or anything for that matter). They stood there in our small room and spoke to me. C is not exactly quiet, even when she tries to be discrete, but I didn’t hear anything. And yet, ten minutes later Little L stirred and squeaked as she woke up and I was instantly alert.

It amazes me that I can fine tune my hearing to that extent. In the dead of the night I can hear C stir in her bed at the end of the hall. I can hear her call out in her sleep. I can hear Little L’s sighs and even her quiet breaths as she sleeps soundly next to me. And I can hear all this despite M’s loud snoring.

M takes sleep very seriously. Not much short of a sharp poke in the ribs wakes him up. Crying babies don’t even make him skip a snore, so once he closes his eyes, I’m on kid duty. If I don’t hear the girls no one will. But as soon as M wakes up in the morning C becomes his responsibility, and apparently my ears got the memo.

This morning I got more sleep than usual. I woke up quite rested for once. But I didn’t get my morning kisses and cuddles and I felt out of sorts all day. Sleep is lovely, but it seems that kisses are necessary. I have a hunch that tomorrow morning I’ll be listening carefully for that little toddler voice asking me if I’m awake.

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3 responses

  • Ah yes, selective mama hearing … I’d almost forgotten! 🙂 (Bet you hear C tomorrow!)

  • Personally, I think my kids are conspiring to deprive me of sleep. The boys are still going strong at midnight and T usually comes in before 7 to wake me up.

  • That’s hilarious. It must be a survival instinct. When the baby starts waking up very quietly, the mommy brain sets off an alarm clock. But when a toddler starts asking around for Mom, the brain says, “Eh, she knows where the cereal is.”

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