Look Ma, No Ears

Bee, can you come here please?

Come here please, Bee.

Are you listening to me, Bee?

Bee, can you please listen to me?

Has anybody seen my toddler’s ears? They seem to have fallen off the sides of her head.

I’d love to say that my voice is so soft that she’s just not hearing me say the same thing to her twenty thousand times. I’d love to say that she’s so engrossed in learning to potty train herself or make my coffee that she just isn’t able to answer me right now.

I’d love to say any of those things, but the truth is, she’s just ignoring me. You know it’s the truth, because you have toddlers too. Either that or your toddler’s ears have fallen off as well, so of course she can’t do as you ask.

I’m getting bored of hearing myself plead with my earless child to stop ignoring me. Luckily, Bee eventually acknowledges my presence and is ready to negotiate. Literally negotiate, and she is better at it than I am. Honestly, my father-in-law, a retired auto exec, could have used Bee for labour negotiations. She is relentless. She would have had those union workers back on the line in no time.

She manages to canoodle special treats out of me for behaviour I vowed never to reward, like moving far enough out from under the bed that I can finally reach her to just pick her up and forcibly do the thing that I had been pleading with her to do for half an hour. We have even negotiated for special treats to get her into her coat and out of the house so that we can go to the zoo. Wtf? Now I have to dole out special treats just to get ready to go enjoy a special treat?

No, not always. Sometimes I refuse to hand out the two chocolate chips, or new sheet of stickers, or baby orange. (Ha! Sucker. I managed to make her think that a healthy Clementine is a special treat. Who’s in charge now?!)

Does that mean that she’s listening to me? No way, jose. That means that I just threatened to throw the tv in the garbage. Our threat du jour is quite effective, as Bee’s affection for Diego is greater than her affection for me, and she’ll do just about anything for him, like put on pajamas or stop running down the street.

I’m so sick of this, this trifecta of pleading, negotiating and threatening. Where is my good, sweet, attentive little girl who sticks close to my side and never gives me a moment’s frustration?

Oh wait, there she is, sitting on the couch, watching a Diego video and eating two chocolate chips.

Truly, it’s not always like this. Hell, it’s not even often like this. But we have our moments. Usually they come when I am stuck on the couch nursing Dove while folding laundry, or holding Dove while making dinner and answering the phone. You get the picture. I know that eventually, Bee will discover that she has clearly defined how far the boundaries can stretch and will chill out with the driving Mummy crazy routine. Either that or I will learn how to run faster than a two year old while holding a screaming infant and trying to steer the stroller away from oncoming traffic.

In the meantime, if you see her ears lying around, give me a call. And yes, there’s a special treat in it for you.



  1. That photo is so eloquent.

    I know I had other wise things to say about two-year-olds and defiance ... but now I can't get my mind off the fresh box of clementines I just bought...

  2. Scooter doesn't even have the excuse of a new baby in the house. Or of being a toddler anymore. Instead when he finally "hears" us, he'll give a sweet little, "Oh sorry, Mommy." And then ignore us some more.

  3. Honestly, we had a couple of months like that, thoguh things are back to normal for now. Turns out she really hates when I ignore her...

  4. The ears fell off over here about three months ago and we have yet to find them. The only time they seem to come out to play is when chocolate, ice cream, or Wonder Pets are involved. I feel your pain, oh god I feel your pain.

    And that is one "awesometastic totally defiant and I would not dare cross her" photo.

  5. when you find some ears lying around send them over to my house as well...they've been long gone from here for ages...perhaps they'll return when she's 20

  6. Aw. Poor little munchkin. It's a phase, but it's a hard one.

  7. That picture is the perfect punctuation mark.

    For the record, this librarian has been known to threaten "no bedtime stories unless you brush your teeth." That's like a circle of hell I vowed I would never find myself in.

  8. I so understand your pain. I am a terrible negotiator. I use Dora as a bribe for just about everything.

  9. Hey. My grrrls could come over and train her in the art of many things.

    Man she is fine in those stripey tights.

  10. Freaky - it's like you're inside my head. A friend and I were just talking today about how our boys had gone from "selective hearing" to "completely ignoring". I have to threaten to turn off (or not turn on) the beloved TV before I'm acknowledged. Infuriating.

  11. I'm thinking this is pretty common - at Isaac's daycare they have instilled in all the little darlings the concept of "listening ears". Which they actually do mime attaching to their own heads.

    I have no idea how those genius teachers got this to work - perhaps it's the sheer silliness of reaching into your pocket and pulling out pretend ears - but it does work about half the time.

  12. oh, ears! And now, legs at our house too! "I can't clean up, my legs don't work!" I actually started planning a fake trip to the doctor...have I lost my mind?

  13. i have a matching 5-year-old boy. i think they'd get along famously. :)

  14. That picture sums it up beautifully.

  15. Is that why my kids won't listen to me??? They've lost their ears. Meanwhile, I seem to have lost my freaking mind...

    And my kids won't be fooled into good behaviour with a bribe of Dora or an orange. I've got to bring out the big guns...like threatening to hang them by their toes from the ceiling fan or promises of cold hard cash.


  16. Oh, look at that face. That about sums it up, doesn't it?

    Apparently we're having the same problems, you and I. I'm sure they'll get their ears back... Someday. When they're 20.

  17. This is so irritating, isn't it! Cakes actually covered her ears and said "la la la" while I was talking the other day. Unbelievable.

  18. blah, blah, blogJanuary 17, 2008

    Great photo!

    I just got a glimpse of the teenager Bee is going to grow into!

    The Begat still has her ears. Oh, she makes it very clear that she hears me perfectly well as she brazenly continues to do exacting what I've just asked her to stop doing.

    It usually involves the baby. 'No feet on the baby's face, Honey.' 'Sweetie, move your feet please'. 'No feet please'. 'NO FEET' The sentences getting shorter as my patience gets thinner.

    If anyone has lost her ears these days, it's me. In a last ditch effort to preserve my sanity, I'm choosing my battles wisely and ignoring most of her negative attention seeking strategies.

    It appears to be marginally successful. Although I'm not exactly sure what's improving: her behaviour or my blind eye!

  19. Mine never listens either. Most times, i just give-up, she wins!

    That's a beautiful photo; i think Bee wins too!

  20. oh don't I know how much fun this is.
    Similarly I congratulate myself on fooling my child into thinking zippy fruit leather is candy.
    yes it is a new low when we rejoyce at outwitting a three year old.

  21. the bee's ears are probally hanging out with lulu's ears...
    oh this sounds all to familiar-right down to the chocolate chips.
    I have actually started doing that oh so annoying
    "I'm counting to three young lady thing!" "1-2-2.5.....2.7....2.8....."
    funny enough, it actually works.

  22. she may be ignoring you but she's got a great wardrobe.

    i'd take away all her shit just to prove a point. (tough girl talk coming from a chick with the same sort of kid who still has all her stuff)

  23. OMIGOSH! I SOOOO HEAR YOU (see, I have EARS!) ;)
    My cheaty little monkey refuses to listen, too. It's so darn frustrating. And, when she actually (well, accidentally) does what I say, I have to exaggerate: "GOOD LISTENING, MONKEY! GOOD LISTENING"! Because she just doesn't listen.

    LOVE this picture. She's ADORABLE!

  24. 'kay, seriously, here's the thing.

    We have learned that the ears, rather than being lost, simply have an voice-activated electronic locking function. You just have to know the password. In our case - and I'm not shitting you here - the password is, "Excuse me, [insert name]." Otherwise, those things are as soundproof as a vault.

    Try walking down the street addressing your child that way. Every. Single. Sentence. People start giving you funny looks. "Um, excuse me, [name], but could you please watch where you're going? You're about to step in some dog poop."

    Good luck on finding out your password.


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