Yesterday I was working in the yard with my white iPod earbuds tucked securely in my ears. My boys were doing the same, which makes effective communication almost impossible. I know wearing headphones while doing yardwork with my sons smacks of lousy parenting - it probably is - but at least we don't argue this way...
But we do have out share of this...
My son waves frantically at me as I am mowing the lawn.
I look at him, raise my eyebrows, and lift one palm up, gesturing "What?"
He makes a slashing motion across his neck for me to kill the mower.
I stop mowing and reach down to pull the rubber end off the spark plug, because the throttle cable is broken.
I say "What?"
His lips move, I hear nothing.
He points to his ears.
Oh yeah. I take one of my earbuds out.
He repeats what he said. I still hear nothing.
I take out the other ear bud and fumble to push the pause button. Finally I can hear him.
"Dad, can I go in and get a drink?"
(Grr.) "You bet!"
He puts his earbuds back in, and turns to go in the house.
"Hey, bring me one too, please." I shout after him.
He keeps walking, oblivious.
I grab a tiny rock, and toss it at him. He stops and turns around, confused.
"Brink me one too. please." I repeat.
He shakes his head and points to his earbuds.
I motion for him to remove one. He does.
"Please bring me one too, please."
I turn back to the task at hand, put my earbuds back in, hit play, put the rubber cap back on the spark plug, and re-start the mower.
From out of nowhere, my son taps me on the shoulder, scaring me to death. I jump and whirl around.
He laughs at me.
I reach down, kill the mower, pause my iPod and take out my earbuds. Again.
"You scared me!"
"I know - that was funny."
'Thanks. What do you want?"
"What do you want to drink?"
"I don't care. Water is fine."
One again, I put my earbuds back in, hit play, put the rubber cap back on the spark plug, and re-start the mower.
I look up, and my nine-year-old is waving frantically at me...