Parental Noise Deafness, or PND…Are You a Victim?

We spent today making the seven hour drive from Provo to Challis, Idaho, for Batman’s 30th class reunion. We stopped for hugs from Mindy, our extra daughter. We will get to visit with her again next week. Then we met my Mom for lunch in Blackfoot, Idaho, at Rupe’s Burgers. She looked so festive, and imagine our surprise to find we all had done the same patriotic nail art. (tiny, girlish squeal of delight)

The kids were very well-behaved, thoroughly entertained by their individual laptops, tablets, and DVD players, all equipped with headphones. Great for travel, except when…

Batman is driving into his hometown for the first time in ten years and wants to tell the kids about the various sights along the way. “That’s Mount Borah, the highest point in Idaho. See it, Jack?” No answer. “I used to move irrigation pipe in that field, this field, and the one on the other side of this hill. Not wheeled pipe like you see there now. I had to lift every section.” Deadly silence.

As parents we choose our battles. Making the sweet chiselers put down their headphones and listen to their father reminisce was not a battle Batman and I wanted to face today. So we permitted the children to continue in their state of Parental Noise Deafness, unable to distinguish the voice of the loving parent from the ambient noise of their own choosing. It’s a trade-off. Quiet car, or semi-attentive, but noisy offspring.

We are camped for the next six days at Challis Hot Springs, a lovely spot with free wifi and bathrooms that were clean until we had to track mud into them during the rainstorm this evening. I felt so bad. Then the dog got out and bit the neighbor’s trousers. After they welcomed us so nicely, they must think I’m a rolling disaster. The guys are enjoying the hot spring pool tonight. It will be nice to have total access to that while we are here.

Tomorrow’s Independence Day events include a picnic, a parade, a street dance, and fireworks on the bluff above town at midnight when it finally gets dark up here. Happy Fourth of July, everybody!



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