Sunday, February 3, 2013

Paying A Listen

Perhaps it’s all the crying, the dogs barking, or the voices in my head, but I’ve become keenly adept at tuning it all out.  This would be great news if I were kicking game winning field goals, but not so much when my wife is asking me to help her with something around the house.  Even as I’m typing this, I can hear her calling from the kitchen-- something about a fire.  Oh, she said tired, false alarm. 
Justin Lynham - Flickr

Being male, I've never been considered an astute listener, and until recently it wasn't much of an issue.  But these days I have to catch more than every third or fourth word, and even pay attention to detail. Pay attention and listen, that may be asking a bit much, as evidenced by my recent shopping trip.  

With my wife on house arrest after labor, I was sent out to the grocery store armed with a list and a few detailed pointers that I quickly tuned out.  

Yeah, yeah, I got it. I often nod in an effort to speed up conversations because I can't sit still. Okay, enough with the confessions.  

I set out on the aisles, bumping carts with coupon cutters in an effort to find hidden necessities such as soy milk and feta cheese.  I knew that the grocery store carried milk and beer, but I had never given much thought to what lined all of those shelves in between.  I quickly discovered that I had no idea where I was going, apologizing to other shoppers as I zigzagged through the store.

After several calls home, I painstakingly found the items on the list, including diapers for both wife and son.  I returned with my haul, proudly displaying my finds and bargains for all to see.  But when I handed my wife her diapers, she looked at me like an idiot.

These are adult diapers, I don't need adult diapers.....I just need pads.

But, what's the......Back out I went.

Listening is just one area in need of improvement, multitasking is another. While my wife can do four or five tasks at once, I'm more like that kid in that AT&T commercial, proud of the fact that he can shake his head and wiggle his hand at the same time. 

I have to stay on my toes with our new arrangement. It’s no longer just the two of us, the little monkey towel hanging in the bathroom reminds me of our new addition, so some adjustments are in order.  Plans have to be made before I walk the dogs or even go to the bathroom; and dinner has taking on a drastically different approach.

Don't get me wrong, I’m embracing my new role of being a family man, but after 37 years of doing what I want, when I want, it has been a bit of a shock to my system.   The constant, 24 hour care that my son requires is not always easy, and he has a boisterous way of letting me know what I’m doing wrong.  But have no fear, I am listening.

No comments:

Post a Comment