Monday, December 14, 2009

super powers...

I have ears.
Two of 'em, actually. One on each side of my head. Just the way they are supposed to be.

Nicely formed, if I do say so myself, and they both work quite well. They aren't too large like Horton, and not too small like Jerry. They are just right...for me.

Every Friday morning after the kids are safely in school, a small group of us ladies get together for coffee and conversation. A koffee klatch, per se.

I love these ladies.
I really do.

They are always a constant source of support and inspiration; laughs and amusement.

I look forward to Friday mornings.

This Friday past the conversation veered to sleep patterns. Go figure. With the holidays zooming in, obligations stacking up, schedules tight, we talked about how we are individually dealing with it.

I've long left my diva days behind. I'm a 'early to bed and early to rise' type. I figure I must have been a farmer in a past life. When it gets dark, I go to bed. When the sun rises, I get up. Pretty simple stuff, boring perhaps, but simple nonetheless.

But as of late due to my overworked brain, my farmer has left the field. Sometimes it works for me. Sometimes it doesn't.

There are those nights that you just can't quite fall to sleep. And the more you dwell on your lack of sleep, the less able you are to relax to let the zzz's come over you.

One of the klatch ladies shared that she takes Tylenol PM which aids her in her quest for rest. Another chimed in that Benedryl works for her. And as I'm adding a little more sugar and a little more cream to my heavily caffinated beverage allowing me to remove the toothpicks aiding in holding my puffy eyes open, I'm thinking a martini later might help. We chuckled through our fatigue about our common bond of sleepless nights, the conversation circled around.

Christine said she'd lost her ear.

"Um, your ear? Are you a distant VanGogh relative? I know it's been cold, but how did you lose your ear?" Secretly I'm scanning the sides of her head under her hair to see if there is a bandage concealing something missing.

She said, "My 'Mom Ear'."

Her ability to hear what's going on around her once she's asleep.
Aaaahhhhh. MOM Ear.

I have them.
Mom Ears.
I just didn't know what they were called.

They don't look any different than regular ears, they just react different.

I never fall too deeply asleep. I can always hear what's going on.
I not only tune in to my own household, but hear the sounds from the neighborhood as well. Even with the windows shut tight for the winter I hear my next door neighbors when they pull in or out of the driveway. When they drag their garbage can down to the curb at 5am, or come home at 3. I seem to be the only one to hear this. No one else in the house does. None of my other neighbors hear it as well. But I do.

Is my hearing that great?
Have I been blessed with some super power?

Last night I heard car doors. At 5am. I had to get up for a drink of water and to release some water anyway, so I peeked out the windows. My master bedroom is up on the third floor of my century home. The eves act like giant ears. I can see everything from that vantage point, and hear most things for blocks. A pair of binoculars and I could be my very own block watch.
There are 4 police cruisers on my dark street and 5 uniformed officers. They are going back to their cruisers from my neighbors house a few doors down. Strolling back in no hurry. No visible agitation, no one in handcuffs. Why are they here before the break of dawn? My mind is running all possible scenarios. I've not come up with anything yet...but damn did my ears work well.

My daughter has 'selective hearing'. If you mention chocolate chip cookies, she can hear you from several yards over. If you ask her if her homework is done, I might as well be on the moon.

I had a dog with selective hearing.
And a husband too.

Is this super hearing 'mom ear' a learned thing? Or are you born with it.
Does it come with parenthood?
Or marriage?

I remember waking as soon as my husband would pull in the drive when he was out with friends. Before his usually late arrival I was blissfully taking in the sights of my inner eyelids. But as soon as I heard the tires on pavement...I'd be wide awake.

My mother had super hearing. Or now since Christine told me, Mom Ears.

We lived at a base of a hill. It was quiet there, outside of the gentle sound from the stream in the backyard. You could sometimes hear a distant train, or over head air traffic from the airport 10 miles away. Very few cars came down our road. It was a very tranquil neighborhood.

My bedroom had a balcony. Prior to cable we had a large tower antenna right off my balcony. High tech for it's time, it could rotate to pick up a television signal. We could get stations from different states. It also provided a stellar way to enter or exit the house without being noticed.

Or so I thought.

I had a curfew.
Many times I broke it.

One time coming home, I switched off the my cars engine at the top of the hill and coasted into the driveway, bringing it to a stop quiet as a mouse. I snuck around back, stealthily climbed the antenna tower and hoisted myself gracefully across the banister. As I went to open the patio doors there stood my mother.

"Why didn't you use the front door? I left it open for you." she asked me ever so politely.

"Uh, I didn't want to wake you...?", I sheepishly (and foolishly) threw out there as a possible excuse.

She just gave me that look.

You know the one.

The one that tells you you are full of kaka but I'm not going to acknowledge that because you and I both know you are in the wrong but I don't want to wake your father because it really isn't that big of a deal however next time don't make me stand waiting for you to sneak in the house off the balcony.

That look.

I hated getting that look.I tried not to get that look. I'd had rather a barrage of profanity's or a verbal lambasting about responsibility. I might have even preferred a paddling. But not the look.

The look could make you cringe.
And make you cry.
And also make you hope that you will be good enough in the future to never, ever see it again.

Unfortunately I did see it again. Several times. I was a diva!
But it never hurt me any less. And over time, I did get better. And low and behold I did see it less. I wonder if I'll get 'that look' as well as my inherited 'mom ears'. Maybe I should start working on it...
MY look won't look like hers, I'm sure.
I've tried to practice it a few times, but I just look like I'm constipated.

What a dire punishment that would be for an errant offspring.
To give them the look that makes them run...

for the Ex-Lax.



  1. It doesn't come from marriage. I hear nothing.

  2. Great post. I love 'selective hearing'. I think have that.

    Mom ears have gotten me in a heap of trouble in my teens. I do believe moms have a special superpower. They really should - it's the most difficult and rewarding job, right?

    If only accessories had super powers (like Wonder Women), you would rule the world. On second thought; I have a pair of earrings from the 80's that could very well be satellite dishes.

  3. Mom ears! Wonder if I'll grow those as my daughter gets older although maybe I've already got them. She can't even roll over in bed without me hearing her!

  4. @Meagan - If I hadn't had the 'ears' while married, I might still be today!

    @thatgalkiki - I think I might have the sister set of those earrings...
    I kept ALL that jewelry we thought was so hot. Now I outfit the neighborhood for Halloween.

    @Menopausal NewMom- Geez. I remember when Boo was a baby and I had a monitor and video monitor all this junk that I NOW know I didn't need...'cause I had these 'ears'.


  5. Thanks for the unique ears. I've got them, and now so does my daughter, a new mom. I would love to lose my mom ears, now that Daughter is a grown-up with kids of her own; but I hear every night noise.

  6. Oh I know the look! I received it many times from my Mom but I have to admit nothing made me want to cry as much as when my Grandfather would give me that look. Don't worry I'm sure you have it and you just don't realize you do :P I think for most women it's instinctive :D

  7. gosh i remember those LOOKS! my mom was great at it and so was my grandma. you're right, i would rather have the screaming and everything else, but looks...shoot me now!

  8. Good heavens Nancy! I haven't slept soundly unless I'm on vacation, states and perhaps a time zone away from my children, and even then, I'm quick doing math to see what they may or may not be up to at the moment I think of them.

  9. OMG! I thought I was the only one that used a T.V. antenna to escape my bedroom. Ahhh - good times.

  10. I'm sensitive to the weather. At the end of a sunny day, I have sunned ears, but today, alas, I have rained ears.

    Little festive pun for you there. No charge

  11. I wonder if it is possible to have "Mom ears" without being a Mom? I definitely don't have kids (or that's some seriously powerful amnesia, but I hear everything down our road. I think it's living alone that does it. Saying I have "Single ears" or "Solitary ears" doesn't work quite as well ;)

  12. Isn't it sad / funny / scary that our 80's fashion is now costume and the basis of themed parties?

  13. First, this made me howl...

    The one that tells you you are full of kaka...

    OMG...I thought I was the only one who refered to it as kaka!

    Great post, Nancy!

    I do think that mom's have a special gift of hearing, truly I do. Only because my mother says the same things as you. She's a very deep sleeper, but at the same time, if anything happens out of the ordinary - she can hear it!

    My ears are very sensitve. I sometimes wonder how I can live in a city with all the offensive and LOUD noise blarring 24-7. I swear to god, I can hear a cotton ball hit the floor!

  14. Hmmm - I have 'the ears' but cannot perfect 'the look'. My four year old daughter is already giving me cause to practice with more determination - I'd better have it sorted soon or she'll be the one in charge in our house!

  15. I once knew a woman (mom) who had another, related super-power. We were in an amusement park once with a handful of 10-year old girls. Her daughter was the birthday girl and it was time for our party's turn in the pizza cafe. The grown ups needed to track down the girls. Huh? Impossible, so I thought. I was standing next to the mom, and quick as lightning, she turned around in the nick of time to grab onto the t-shirts of 2 girls dashing behind her. I was amazed - how did she know? She acted like it was nothing and brushed it off to being a mom.

  16. I once slept through a five alarm fire in the building next door. I heard none of the sirens. I wake immediately the minute my daughter gets up in the night for anything. I always wondered how my brain differentiated. It must be the Mom Ears.

  17. My kids say I have 'the look'. With four kids (three teenagers) I've had plenty of time, opportunity and cause to practise it! For any moms of younger children who may read this, don't worry! 'The look' will come when it is needed most - just like the mom ears!
    Enjoyed this post!

  18. You can't practice the look. Some day it will rise up on its own. You'll know it's working because of the look you'll see on your daughter's face!

  19. XD nice! i advice you to go ahead and refrain from the "the look" until it comes naturally. otherwise...get the lax and run for it! XDXD

  20. And Mom ears come back when a grown child moves back in. I don't need the alarm dogs to tell me the kid is home. I already know. So I dont think they every go away. Neither does the look!! It's all part of The Joys of Motherhood.

  21. KaLynn is right; it doesn't go away. My kids are out of the house but my ears are tuned in for a phone ringing (or the text ring) from somewhere else in the house because they are the only ones who might need me in the middle of the night. And I check my phone first thing every morning just to be sure I haven't missed anything.

  22. Huh?...........I didn't hear you..........Great post. I have the look. I got it from my father who got it from my grandmother. Not everyone in the family has it, I was blesed enough to be the one I guess.

  23. I have excellent hearing - I hear things no human SHOULD hear - like my ex-husband blinking, people chewing so loud it makes me want to cry, my husband rubbing hand lotion on and it sounds like someone running their hand over a microphone....But I've got to say, I think I've lost the "Mom's Ear" now that my kids are grown and moved away. I mean, I do hear things in the middle of the night if I get up and go to the bathroom, but not too many things wake me up besides my husband going to the bathroom.

  24. Glad to know I'm not the only one with Mom Ears...never perfected the look though.

  25. I love the expression "mom ears!" My kids joke about how I wake up the second they open the door to my room, no matter the hour.
    My mother had "the look." Supposedly I do too. I remember being able to "parent" all 3 kids from across the room when they were 2 years old without saying a word. So I guess I do have a look.
    Fun post!

  26. Wonderful post, as always Nancy!

    Yeah...the look. I evidently "give it"...even when I'm not trying! I'll be thinking of something else entirely, and one of da boys will say, "What's with 'the look'?"

    I can't believe you turned off and coasted the car into the driveway! I did the SAME THING...only I never got caught.

    Don't tell my dad...he'll kill me!

  27. I guess you could say I'm lucky. (My Mom has an excellent sense of smell, but not exceptional hearing.

  28. "Mom hearing" and the eyes in the back of the head activate upon birth of your first child. It's instantanious.

    My husband and sons all claim that I have "the look." I have nooooooo idea what they're talking about...

  29. Oh I like that phrase "Mom ears". Appropo.

  30. I screwed up and my comment went ..who knows...any way your mom ears will be with you for a long time to come. then they might go are gone and only come back when my grandson spends the night.

  31. Wonderful post! I totally have those "mom ears"... they came part and parcel with motherhood when my oldest was born, I think. The second kid came along, and I mostly don't even bother with the baby monitor this time. I know my "mom ears" are all that's required. I just didn't know what they were called!

    The three boys in my house (hubby & two kids) all have selective hearing. That is a term I've long been familiar with, unfortunately...

    Very nicely put!! :)

  32. Mom ears, like Dad ears, are attached while you're sleeping in the hospital the first time the baby sleeps and you're all passed out.

    Only once did I have a breaking curfew problem. Mom actually called girlfriend's house and woke up her parents. She and I had falled asleep in the basement. She lived 25 minutes away. I made it home in 10. Lots of "shortcuts" that night.


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  34. Oh I got the look! But I was a good girl so I hardly ever saw it.
    My brothers on the other hand got more than just a look, they got the whole nine yards.
    Aaah! *stretches lazily* The joys of being the youngest...

  35. My mom had the look but her look meant "I'm going to have to tell your father". My dad had the ears!
    Great post!

  36. I think all boys/men have selective hearing. Ned is five and he has already perfected the art of ignoring me!

  37. As a grandmother , my "Mom ears" have turned into "selective ears" so I don't hear my daughter tell me to tell the grandkids NO!! What bliss!! (and a proper payback for all the times my "Mom ears" caught daughter!!)

  38. Nope, I'm out like a light.
    Then up again.
    Then out again.

  39. Nancy, I know I'm repeating myself and being utterly uncreative, but I LOVE your posts! (Full of kaka - that is JUST HILARIOUS.)

    This post reminded me of Atonement - have you read it? - one of the characters in the book is a mother who has severe migraines and spends a lot of her time lying in her dark room, yet she knows what's going on around the house through what, in the book, at least, are mental 'feelers' - it's quite enchanting. (Not the migraines, obviously, but the way it's written.)

    I also had to think of my dog, Dolly, who could hear the soft 'pop' of the refrigerator even when in the deepest slumber. Could she have had dog ears, I wonder? :o)

  40. i am so with you - mum ears. As a teen I could never work out how my mum knew exactly what time i came in and the next day would ask me just to torture me. no matter what time it was she knew and I would get trouble for keeping her from her sleep! now i totally get it! I hear everything... and i also complain when they come in late since I may have gone to bed and be trying to sleep, but never go into a really sound sleep until i hear the key in the door.
    and 'the look' goes with the territory. as does 'eyes in the back of the head' and 'mind reading'. it is written all over their face and body - how could i not know that they have been up to mischief? one day i am sure they will suss it out, till then...

  41. @Pat - I have a friend that would chew loudly. I had to finally stop having dinner with her because I couldn't fixate on anything she was saying, just the sound emanating from her and watching her mouth as she chewed...

    @UberGrumpy - Rained Ears!
    I told that to my daughter, she was going to tell everyone at school today. :-)


  42. Mom ears are supersonic, we can hear every breath a new baby makes and each time a teenager cracks the door open in the middle of a night.

  43. I know people with mom ears,are there dad ones too? The look is a very scary thing. lol :) Great post!

  44. I think we've all dated men with selective hearing, I'm waiting for the Mr Prince Charming who doesn't... Great post!

  45. I love it....nicely done...hahahaha

  46. haha-- thas awesome.. but i def dont have moms ears.. my 19 month old can scream n bed next to me for 10 minutes before i wake up from it.. hehe.. go follow me! im followin u! u followed my old blog.. but i just got a new one!

  47. In college, I slept through the fire alarm. It was outside my door. When my firstborn came along, I developed hearing like a bat's...I can detect sound from miles away. Which explains why my kids HATE when I call and say "What happened?" (They're all grown up now.)

    You made my mom heart smile :-)

  48. I think something's wrong with my ears... I can hear every little sound in the house while I'm trying to sleep, but I'm having a hard time hearing what people are trying to say to me. Huh? What gives?

  49. When I was a child I had this illness that cause an offensive odor liquid to gush out my ears.It does not matter how the shape or size of one's ear may be, what is more important is that it can be functional. I can't imaging losing my God giving hearing aid.
    Thank you Fatherhttp

  50. My mom never had to use her mom ears on me... my older brother would rat me out before she could turn them on...

  51. that was great, awesome. i have *mom* ears and i'm not even a mom lol. i think yer born with it lol. u either have them er u dont. my mom, nothing culd wake her up, she wuld never hear anything.. whether it was me sneaking in late er me screamin n crying... my dad, on the other hand, was a different story lol.
    yer blogs are great btw.

  52. God, this brings back memories. I could be in my room and SNEEZE and my mom would wake up. It was unreal.

    Also, selective hearing is a male trait. It's how we're programmed; we can't help it.

  53. I had to really laugh at this thing called mom ears. My children are grown and my life has taken new direction. I just was thinking the other day how I used to hear everything, and be aware of all the happenings in the night, Now, I too, have lost my mom ears. In fact, I have also lost quite a bit of my hearing as well, relying on hearing aides to get me thru the day. Even with them I miss many words, misinterpret sentences. But yet one always hears love, whether it is the sound, the vibration, the intent, the aura, or the sincerity. Thank you for sharing your view of life and for your kind comments on my blog. May you always hear the love in your life.



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