Thursday, June 10, 2010

Living Loud

I always thought that when you were young your hearing was infinitely better than when you were, say, my age. However, I have recently began to rethink this theory.

Yesterday I mentioned my son's love for absolutely awful music- most of it rap. What I haven't touched on was the fact that he really only listens to it at a volume that can shatter glass.

Anything less than that and he says, "Mom, I can't hear it."

"Really? You can't hear that? Because the governor of Kentucky called and asked you to turn it down."

"Ha. Ha. Very funny, Mom." He replies with curled lip.

But it's not just his gosh-awful music that he wants to be loud. When he watches television, he pushes the sound through the stereo system AND the television. During fight scenes I'm tempted to duck and take cover because it sounds like the calvary has landed in my living room and are getting ready to storm the beach.

The thing that sets my teeth on edge most is the cartoon shows that he watches (loudly). All the characters talk in a high-pitched dopey voice that even make our dog squint. After one show I've got a major headache started and I'm telling him to turn it down or turn it off.

"That's not fair," he scoffs. "Emma and Amy get to watch whatever they want."

"Yes, but their shows have voices that register in a much lower octave. And they can watch their shows at a lesser volume. And, if it makes you feel better, I hate their shows, too. Their volume just doesn't annoy me as much."

"Fine." He snaps the tv off. "I guess I'll just sit here and watch the blank screen."

"Whatever makes you happy, Drama Boy."

"I'm not Drama Boy! The girls are far more dramatic than me!"

"Okay," I say.

After about 30 seconds of silence, Keith loses it. "Mom, can I please watch tv?"

"I never said you couldn't. I just asked you to turn it down."

"But I can't hear it. And if I can't hear it I might as well not watch it."

"Okay," I say again.

He only lasts 15 seconds this time. "Mom!"


"Please can I watch tv?"

"I. Said. Yes." I repeat slowly.

"With the volume up?"

I glare at him and sigh to show my displeasure. "Fine. I'll go upstairs and do some laundry."

"Don't go!" Keith says quickly. "I want you to sit by me."

I chuckle. "Keith," I say shaking my head, "I don't want to be assaulted by your whiny characters and listen to them fight ninja invaders from another planet at seventy seven thousand decibels."

"Mom!" Keith scoffs. "Barkly the Talking Dog and the Ninja Warriors from Planet Zircon are not in the same show. Duh."

"Okay. Well, if it's all the same to you, I really don't want to watch any of it. Maybe we could watch a movie together? How about Get Smart?"


We sit side by side and turn on the movie. Immediately the subwoofer in my stereo begins getting a work out.

"Keith, please, honey, turn it down."

"But I can't hear it."

"Maybe you need to go to the doctor."

"For what?"

"Your hearing," I say, exasperated.

"I hear just fine."

"Then why can't you turn the tv down, and your music down, and your computer down and, your I-pod down?"

"Because I want to make sure I hear everything. I don't want to miss any of the 'small' noises."

"Honey, at this volume, I don't see how you breathe well."

"Okay. I have a small confession to make. I actually like everything loud to drown out Amy."

I raise an eyebrow at him. I can sympathize just a little bit.

"But you are making your poor mother crazy. Please, please, humor me. Turn it down," I shout above the television.

He turns it down. I unbunch my shoulders and take a deep breath. We start watching the movie. Ahhhh... finally...

About that time, Amy starts singing - loudly - to her music upstairs. Keith and I look at each other. He has a distinct "I told you so" look on his face. Amy gets louder.

"Fine. Turn it back up," I concede, already rubbing my temples.

But hey, that's what they make Tylenol for, right?

1 comment:

Jason said...

Good kid. If it's too loud, you're too old. ;)