cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Dano
I’m at the end of my rope.
For someone who is as verbose as I am, and who values the art of communication as much as I do, I can’t understand why I’m struggling to communicate with the Son .
Between you and me, I think those earbuds, which I’m certain will have to be surgically removed, have something to do with it.
Never in a million years, did I foresee how an iPod would cause such a communication barrier between the male heir to my debt and I.
But it has, and as a result, I’m angry.
Angry? What am I saying? I’m pissed.
I want to hire the lawyers who got OJ Simpson off the first time and sue the makers of Apple, whoever they are.
They have caused a barrier between my little boy and I that gets wider as time wears on.
Or I should say, as he continues to add tunes to his iTunes library?
Yet the fact remains that life as we knew it, ceased to exist with the purchase of the little freak.
Breakfast stopped being the best part of our day as I tried to compete with the tiny noise maker while it played at decibels more piercing than a dog whistle.
As time progressed, I learned the art of hand gestures and wondered if my child had gone deaf given he responded to them without so much as removing his earbuds.
I worried that when the cilia in his ears met their demise, it would be necessary for him to wear a hearing aid, years before I had to wear one.
I had countless
monologues conversations with him about the fact that it didn’t matter how handsome he was, he was destined to have a harder time getting girls if he couldn’t hear.
(We ladies know how much we value a man who listens, now don’t we?)
His response? He’d learn to lip read.
Lip read my ass.
He couldn’t even take his dishes to the sink, what made him think he was going to invest time in a lip-reading course?
As time went on, I became savvy at making signs which I diligently held up when I needed to notify him of important matters.
Countless number of hours were spent writing the phrases, “What do you want for dinner?” “What time are you coming home?” and my favorite, “WHY’D YOU LEAVE THE TOILET SEAT UP???”
My cue cards were met by grunts, nods, and short, scribbled replies.
In the meantime, Mr. iPod continued to mock me, laugh at me, and snicker behind my back.
He reigned triumphantly, playing his little tunes, louder and louder, and for longer periods of time.
I tried hiding him, draining his battery, smothering him with a pillow, but like a cat, he kept coming back to life.
Fast forward four years, and my verbal conversation with the Son continues to take place only when Mr. iPod is charging.
I take advantage of that time to prompt meaningful conversation.
I talk about subjects conducive to round table discussions.
I mention current events that might spark conversation.
I enumerate goals which every young person should aspire to, and compliment him for any completed chore.
On this fine morning, I was given another opportunity while the little monster regained strength.
This time, I opted to talk about the future.
After all, my baby was entering his junior year of college in the fall and I thought the “future talk” was long overdue.
I delicately introduced the subject saying, “When I was a little girl…”
The look on his face told me this wasn’t going to end well.
So I sped up and said, “Son, there comes a time in a man’s life …”
Again, the eye rolling and the exasperated sigh told me I had two more minutes before he zoned out.
So I decided to make a short two-minute speech that would impress him; that would create awareness about the importance of planning for the future.
I defined the significance of a two, five, and ten-year plan.
I spoke of drive, ambition, courage, and perseverance.
I mentioned the importance of having dreams, following our hearts, and staying on the path of fulfillment.
I emphasized that the journey counts more than the destination, and that while we may seek counsel from time to time, we have to make our own choices and hold ourselves accountable for our actions.
I stated that this process was vital to him reaching goals, keeping his eye on the prize, and fulfilling his destiny.
I wrapped things up saying, “When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a ballerina but when I reached adulthood, I realized how impractical it was and went on to major in foreign languages. I did this because I understood how crucial communication is and how vital it is to communicate in more than one language. Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were little?”
And he said, “Yep. I wanted to be a ninja.”
“Silly boy. I remember that! And now that you’re going to be a junior in college, have you thought about what you want to do?”
His response: “Mom, I still want to be a Ninja. Great! My iPod’s charged. Lets talk later.”
Apple, I hate you.
I’m convinced the communication breakdown you’ve caused has prevented the Son from reaching his milestones, and because of you, he’s still rooted in the Ninja stage.
I only hope that one day, when I acquire the Ninja skills vital to establish communication with my child, that I will use them to karate chop you to death.
This isn’t over.
Do you hear me?
Of course you don’t.
What prevents you from communicating effectively with your loved ones?