As a hard of hearing parent, I've been surprised at the things my children can hear. It's quite shocking to discover that certain objects actually make sounds. I was especially stunned to discover this little trick:
Me: "I can't find my keys! Girly-Girl and Super Hearing Boy, have you seen them?"
Girly-Girl: "Shake your purse!"
Me: "What? Why?"
Girly-Girl: "Mom, I can hear the keys if they're in your purse."
Girly-Girl: "Yep - they're in there."
[Rummages around in purse]
Me: "Here they are. That's incredible that you can hear them!"
Me: "Can you guys hear this?"
[shakes keys vigorously]
SHB: "Yes, Mom - it's really loud!"
Me: "I don't hear a thing."
I filed this tidbit of information away in my mind. My children must have exceptionally good hearing. How amazing to find out they can hear my keys!
Soon after this happened, my children and I went to a big-box store for a little shopping. They both want to check out the goods in different departments, while I get necessary household items.
Super Hearing Boy (SHB): "I'll be in the video games!"
Girly-Girl: "I'll be in the girl's clothing."
Me: "We're not staying long. I've got class tonight."
After I finish shopping, I realize the time is late and that the kids are on opposite sides of the store. We need to leave as soon as possible so I can get to class on time. Neither of them have cell phones, so I can't call them.
What can I do? Then it hit me - the keys! I grab my keys and shake them as hard as I can for 15 seconds. I wait another 15 seconds and shake them again. I was so intent on getting my children's attention that I didn't notice every adult and child in the store staring at me in astonishment. I watch as mothers and fathers stretch their arms out toward their children and pull them close while silently moving their lips and continuing to look at me.
30 seconds later, I was relieved to see both of my children appear.
Me [loudly]: "I'm so glad you could hear my keys. Let's get in line now."
While waiting for the cashier to ring up my items, the other parents visibly relaxed enough to take their eyes off me. I was stunned to realize that ALL normal hearing people hear keys rattle, and that shaking keys is not the same as blowing a silent dog whistle that attracts only my children.
If you are deaf/hard of hearing, you can also use this time-tested technique in a huge store, with the following modifications to avoid an insanity charge:
- Locate a clothing department devoid of shoppers
- Thumb through a clothes rack
- Covertly shake your keys between clothing items for 15 seconds
- Look around with a confused look on your face. Wait 45 seconds.
If your child doesn't appear, repeat steps 1-4 at a different, nearby clothing rack. Guaranteed to work on normal hearing children!