Like all parents, I got my Parental Hearing Aid* the day my first child was born. This amazing device saved me tons of grief as my kids were growing up. It let me hear…
… a change in the quality of the silence that sent me sprinting to perform the Heimlich maneuver on my toddler, who was sampling the dog’s kibble.
… a tiny “erp” that woke me from a sound sleep in time to get to my 7-year-old’s room, get her vertical and get a waste basket in front of her before she hurled a stomach-load of Chuck E Cheese birthday party fare all over her new Lisa Frank bedspread.
… the subtle undercurrent in my 16-year-old’s voice when she said “I’m sleeping over at Ashley’s,” which clued me that she meant “we’re going to a drunken orgy at some stranger’s house where no parents will be around.”
The translator feature of the Parental Hearing Aid really comes in handy. This is invaluable for figuring out what your kid is REALLY saying since parents and children don’t speak the same language.
Here are a few examples of how the translator works when an adult child spouts off about education, relationships, marriage and life in general. I have yet to hear many of these phrases myself, mind you, but other parents tell me these are common translations.
What they say: I’m changing my major to Women’s Studies.
What parents hear: I plan to live in your basement forever.
What they say: My new tattoo/piercing expresses my individuality.
What parents hear: My highest career ambition is to be assistant manager at Hot Topic.
What they say: We’re moving in together.
What parents hear: He’s getting the milk without buying the cow.
What they say: This is my fiancée (no ring or date).
What parents hear: Deep down I retained enough of that puritanical stuff you drilled into me to be embarrassed about shacking up, resent being made to feel that way, and don’t want to deal with any crap from judgmental old people.
What they say: I’m taking a few classes.
What parents hear: I want to get you off my back and avoid working full-time as long as possible.
What they say: We’re getting married on the beach in (fill in exotic destination here.)
What parents hear: We’re not planning on having any guests who are poor, old or have young children.
What they say: My wedding day is my once-in-a-lifetime, special day.
What parents hear: You’ll have to push back retirement 5 years to pay for this extravaganza.
What they say: I want to take a year off to see the world.
What parents hear: See translation for “I’m taking a few classes.”
What they say: You can’t tell me what to do – I’m an adult!
What parents hear: I’ll be paying for my own car insurance and cell phone, starting immediately.
What they say: Your religion isn’t relevant to my life. No offense.
What parents hear: After I ripped your heart out of your chest and stomped on it, I had it gift-wrapped in this pretty paper.
Of course children get their special hearing aid the same day as their parents. The Kiddo Hearing Aid* has its uses, but the translator feature rarely works right.
Time after time a parent will give her child sound advice motivated solely by love and a desire to help. Nine times out of ten, however, the child does not properly hear these pearls of wisdom based on vastly superior life experience. No, the child hears the endless, critical nagging of someone so out-of-touch they must have lost their last clue when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
The problem is obvious; the Kiddo Hearing Aid must be garbling the message.
Most people find the translator feature on the Kiddo Hearing Aid doesn’t really work properly until the child gets to be 40 years old. At that point their parents’ true genius finally comes through, loud and clear.
At least, that’s what I heard.
*Parental Hearing Aid and Kiddo Hearing Aid are two more fine offerings of Peg-Co, a division of Peg-O-Leg Industries. Be sure to check out our catalog for more life-enhancing products. (Peg-Co makes no claims about the suitability, safety or efficacy of any of their products. As we at Peg-Co always say: “A fool and his money are soon parted”….or…”Buyer Beware”.)
Yep, I think my Parental Hearing Aid is fully functional (I assume you’ll send through the upgrades as and when they become available?). My kiddo hearing aid is definitely malfunctioning though. Here are examples:
I SAY: You mustn’t go out anywhere without checking first with me that it’s ok.
THEY HEAR: If you want to go out anywhere, you only need to check with me if you think I’m likely to find out about it.
I SAY: Yes it’s fine for you to have friends round as long as you take responsibility for not trashing the place.
THEY HEAR: Yes it’s fine for you to have friends round and if you all trash the place, you can just blame the friends after they’ve left.
I SAY: If you want to buy a school lunch instead of taking in a lunch from home, I’m trusting you to make healthy choices.
THEY HEAR: I’m giving you some money to buy whatever you like.
Oh Vanessa, didn’t you buy the update package? It only costs $19.99 (monthly installments for life). Too bad.
It sounds like your Kiddo model is functioning as planned. Thank goodness you have the Parental Probable Translation of Kiddo’s Mistranslation feature.
Hey…wait a sec here… I’m taking a few classes. Dammit. Think my husband will catch on?
HI-larious as usual, Pegster. But I am very sad now that I have to wait until my kids are 40 as I’ll be dead by then. Oh well.
It doesn’t mean the same thing when you’re a grownup. Then the translation is “I’m trying to improve life for the entire family while juggling WAY too many things at the same time. I should be canonized.”
These are priceless and so true. You served them up like popcorn!
What they say: I’m taking a road trip to x, 8 hours away.
What parents hear: I don’t have AAA like you do, so if anything goes wrong with that ’99 Toyota, you’ll have to rescue me.
Spoken like a true Mom. We bought AAA for our oldest also and just reminded her of it so we DON’T get that call. In the middle of the night. 8 hours away.
Another Peg-Co subsidiary? And I worry that government is getting too big! Time to start an “Occupy Peg-o-leg Industries” movement. Where’s Michael Moore when you really need him?
Michael’s busy running a re-election/smear campaign masquerading as hard-hitting journalism. I’m sure he’ll get around to exposing the seamy underbelly of Peg-Co someday.
LOL. No, double LOL.
Ha! Perfect ending line, Peggles. And I just have to ask, that really happened with the dog kibble?!
I’m pretty sure I’ve said almost every one of these things to my parents, but they turned off their hearing aids after kid #2. For the best.
It was a hot dog. I actually had that happen twice with my youngest. I still put hot dogs in the food processor and make hot dog hash for her and she’s 20.
You noticed the secret shut-off feature, did you? Many parents seem to find some peace with that.
The flaw with the Kiddo Hearing Aid is that it has a default setting that completely tunes out the voice of anyone over the age of 19.
Our engineers have been working on that for years, but with no success. Sometimes even science can’t win out over hard wiring.
I don’t remember the kibble choke incident. Fun post, as usual!
Took the day off and am leaving NOW for GR to see some more of ArtPrize with MK.
By the way, can anyone tell me how to find the Freshly Pressed page???
For the past few weeks, I go to wordpress.com and no home page and no link to click to see the FPd posts. FRUSTRATING!
Enjoy this nice weather before it gets mucho colder. Ciao’
It was actually a hot dog, but it made me sound like a bad mom to be more than 2 steps away from my kid while she was eating a hot dog so I changed it.
Just hang around here and the FP page will come to you. (are you listening Word Press? hint, hint, hint… Hmm?)
I’m so jealous about ArtPrize! You two have a ton of fun.
I like how the ad at the bottom (on my UK viewing platform anyway) is for Discount Hearing aids.
No…really? It’s scary how those ads seem to pick up words in the post. I did one on Sensa weight loss drugs and had diet ads for a month! Big Brother is watching us, Joe.
I wonder what ad popped up in your post mentioning raining dildos recently 🙂
Ah yes. I have had that mom moment when I wake from a sound sleep to hear my wee tot just barely stirring, prior to the all out scream of hungry (when they were babies). And this from the woman who slept through a trauma helicopter landing in our backyard in the middle of the night (true story). I didn’t even realize I had purchased a Mom Hearing Aide. Thanks Peg-Co! I’ve apparently been a big fan of your products for years.
Isn’t it amazing how Mom can hear the kid before it makes a sound? Trauma helicopter in the middle of the night? Now THAT sounds like a story I need to hear.
My kid has his hearing aid going strong since he turned 13:
ME: “You’ve had enough technology. Please turn off that iPod.”
TECHSUPPORT: “Can I go to a friend’s house?”
What? Because he’s not going to hop onto their screen there? *headdesk*
Congrats on being my featured blogger of the month. Come visit and see how purdy you look in the side bar. It only took 7.1 hours for me to figure out how to do that. 🙂
Aw, thanks Renee! I’m thrilled. I actually bopped over to your fine pad this morning, but was intimidated that I didn’t have a clever answer for what’s a “ichawiasdofkahs” so I slunk (slinked? skunked?) quietly away.
In the immortal words of MacArthur “I shall return”. In the immortal words of Arnold “I’ll be back.” (Arnold’s other immortal words; “sorry about that boffing-the-housekeeper thing, Maria.”)
Well done, you. I wonder: can your Parental Hearing Aid save bacon, in general? Because apparently there’s a worldwide Aporkalypse coming and I am not at all okay with it.
In case any childless people were wondering, there is also a version for aunts and big sisters.
What I Hear: Silence
What They’re Doing: Cavorting down the sidewalk outside, sans pants or diaper.
“Aporkalypse” tee hee hee! That “cavorting sans diaper” incident sounds like the sort of thing the authorities take your Auntie card away for.
In my defense, I wasn’t the only adult present when that particular nephew went on that particular outing. In fact, both his parents were home, too.
I used to de-pants my nephew on purpose. Does that invalidate my Auntie card?
No, that just moves you into the “fun Auntie” category. The one the kids love to see and the parents try to dodge.
And I thought that the problem was that I only speak with my son via cell phone.
Your son understand that a cell phone can be used as a …phone? Wow! Talk about evolved. Mine thinks it can only be used for texting.
We’re talking kids in the next couple of years here and I’m curious how this parental hearing aid thing will work out… Great post, I love the translations!!
Just resign yourself to a couple – maybe 40 – years of not understanding one another. That way there won’t be any surprises.
(Yep, this has novelty gift calendar written all over it….)
THAT’s what I should be doing with my time – working on a novelty gift calendar. Thanks for the business tip!
Giggling. Omigosh, I loved the one about sprinting to catch the un-chuck-e-cheesing! And the taking a few classes or taking a year off to see the world–LOL!
You got any of those on sale? Thanks for the laughs–time to help the littles with their homework (shiver).
It never ceased to amaze me. When our kids were sick I’d get into bed with them, doze off and somehow “feel” they were about to throw up so I could dash into action. The next morning I’d say to my husband “whew, rough night!” and he’d say “what? I didn’t hear anything.”
My hearing aid wasn’t working, I thought you said that yours shaved your bison. I’m glad you spelled it out and saved me the embarrassment.
Sorry; what you need is the Blogging Hearing Aid. Check page 209 of the Peg-Co catalog.
It’s time for the Man Vs. Woman Hearing Aid also! He/She says, He/She hears:
Wife: “Honey, could you move these bags down the basement?”
Man (watching game): ” “.
Man: “Honey, are you going to watch the Romney/Obama debate tonight?”
Woman: “You’re fat.”
More opportunities for obscene profits for PegCo!
By the way, I had put a longer space between quotation marks on the Man Watching Game, but it was eliminated when posted. Dang, your blog has its own hearing aid!
You’re Sooooo right about the man/woman translator. I’ll get the engineers working on the prototype right after they finish up the “what they REALLY said at the Romney/Obama debate” model.
“obscene profits for Peg-Co” has such a lovely ring to it, with or without a hearing aid.
I think these were “seen on tv” in the middle of the night. A two-fer special, but wait, and I did, but all I got was static. Guess I’d better hurry up and order!
Operators are standing by!
The parental hearing aid translation of the term “fiancee” reminds me of a young person I worked with briefly. She sometimes referred to her “husband”… no ring, no date, and definitely no actual marriage … just a baby that is already walking. The translation about not wanting to “deal with any crap from judgmental old people” is very accurate.
If it makes life easier to PRETEND to be married, wouldn’t it just be even easier to BE married?
I had another line in here “we don’t need a piece of paper”, translation “he hasn’t asked me to marry him”, but decided I was beating this particular topic to death.
Reminds me of that selective hearing product.
Nearly everyone within earshot of me seems to enjoy them.
I have no idea why, of course.
Blah blah blah…
Blab blab blah blab blah blah…
Not you, SIG. Surely all your acquaintances hang on your every word!
The translator feature on the Kiddo Hearing Aid never really did work properly, even after my kids passed the age of 40. They still fail to see my true genius, which I had hoped they would see before my mind goes camping and fails to come home again.
Darn, Margie! I was counting on getting smarter as my kids got older, as happened with my own parents. They went from pretty clueless to pretty clever when I was around 40.
Reblogged this on sw33tj3lly's Blog ^^ inspire +eat = ❤.
You forgot one: They say: Someday I’ll have a family of my own that I have to take care of.
What you hear: I’m putting your old butt in a nursing home. Don’t even think about moving in with me.
My son did me the courtesy of translating that for me… 😐
Yikes! Reminds me of a favorite cartoon. Mom is walking a little kid into daycare and he’s saying “yeah, and just wait and see if I hesitate to put you in a nursing home.”
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I’ve just ordered mine. I’m getting the deluxe version that, hopefully, still allows me to tune out other sounds, like anything said in a meeting at work, reminders about yardwork, etc.
Loved this. I would add that the kiddo hearing aid allows small people to hear (over “Wheels on the Bus” and “Get your feet off me!” shouting) the sound of paper being gently unfolded as a piece of gum is unwrapped in the car seat ahead of them. That is one amazing hearing aid.
Parental hearing aids…priceless! I brought mine home when I looted the bassinet at the hospital before bringing my first child was born. (That “erp” story – I have soooo done that a few times.) I’ve never had to replace the batteries, and they DO seem to improve with function over time. Sometimes, though, I’m a bit disappointed they didn’t come with a mute function. It would be nice to read occasionally without interruption. Someone told me that function automatically installs once they’re making money on their own and stop coming home for meals, around 25 years.
You’re right – that function DOES automatically install. The funny thing is, after hoping for it all of their lives, once it kicks into gear you miss the noise. Funny thing.
Those hearing aids sound pretty high tech, Peg. Are there special ones available for aunts and uncles?
Our tech department is working on those, Dana.