The Million Dollar Question


Next week the million dollar question will finally get answered.  The question we have all been asking ourselves over and over.  The question we are convinced we know the answer to.  The question that starts many arguments, heated debates, and stirs the pot day after day, week after week.

Maybe you know this question.   Maybe you’ve asked yourself this very same question too.  It’s the question we have ALL asked ourselves at some point.  The question in question?

Is it me or is it them?

It started about a year ago.  I found myself asking the people around me to speak up, to please e.n.u.n.c.i.a.t.e, to speak clearly.  About a year ago the phrase, “I can’t hear you”, became a permanent part of my repertoire.

The problem is I have kids.  Teenagers to be exact.

And so, when it’s the kids my mind starts whirring, attaching stories and meanings to “their” inability to speak up, speak clearly, and communicate.

(What, you didn’t know poor communication is a hot button for me?  It is.  Just to be clear.)

It goes something like this…

Kid:  “Blah blah blah blah blah

Me:  “What?”
(Inside my head: “God! speak UP!)

Kid:  “Blah blah blah blah blah

Me:  “Say it louder, I can’t hear you!
(Inside my head: “Jeez this kid is never going to be able to speak to an adult and be taken seriously!  What’s going to happen when they have a problem at school?  Who is going to listen?  They’ll probably FAIL just because they can’t speak up and speak clearly!)

Kid: (a little louder, a little slower) “Blah   blah   blah   blah   blah!

Me:  “You need to look at me when you talk please.”
(Inside my head:  “Oh my god!  I’ve FAILED as a MOTHER!  What kind of parents are we?  HOW did we allow our children to get to this point?  They’ll never graduate!  They’ll never get into college!  What about work?  Will they every get hired?  Are they going to be living at home forever???  What have I done?!?  What can I do???)

Kid: (a little louder, a littler slower, looking directly at me) “Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah”

Me:  “Oh!  Okay!  See, wasn’t that easy?”

So the question is:

Is it me or is it them?

Next week I go in for a hearing test.  I’m super excited!  As I see it I am in a win-win situation.  If I do indeed have hearing loss, I can get help.  If I don’t, I’m right it IS the kids.

What about you?  Do you have a million dollar question in your house?

Photo credit: Jeroen van Oostrom