After a fun afternoon in a community pool I happily sang out to my six year old, “Ok, time to go. Please pick up the swim noodle and get out of the pool.”
There was no response although I was staring directly at her.
I then called out her name so there would be no mistake, “Autumn, please pick up the swim noodle and get out of the pool.”
I was met with a blank stare. I double checked the identity of the child. Yes, it was my daughter and not someone else’s. I tried again.
“Pick up the swim noodle.”
She made direct eye contact this time.
“The swim noodle.”
“The noodle,” I clarified.
“ The noooooodle,” I emphasized.
She stared at me with no emotion. I wondered if my voice had actually come out of my mouth.
“Noooooooodle!" I screamed. The child next her glanced furtively around and ducked her head under the water.
A mother next to me confirmed that she had indeed heard my voice as had the rest of the neighborhood.
I tried again but with a hand signal, “Noodle.”
Again, no response.
I cleared my throat and bellowed, “ Noooooodle!”
By this time I no longer cared about the pool toy and called out, “Autumn, time to get out of the pool!”
Seven children got out of the pool.
I put on white face makeup and mimed getting out of the pool.
A neon arrow flashed the way to the steps and I waved my arms like I was parking a 747.
My voice cracked, “Out of the pool.”
That is when the light bulb went off.
I decided then and there that when I get old I am going to fake deafness.
“Mom, it is time to brush your dentures and take your medicine.”
“Your teeeeeeeeeeeeth.” “Teeeth.”
“Time for bed and medicine.”
“Mom!” she will yell in my ear, “teeth and pills!”
I will wait until she is good and frustrated and then I will do it.
I will also tell her not to yell at me.
After all, I heard her the first time.
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