I'm pretty sure my kids are deaf.
And after extensive and exhaustive research (read: watching my three hooligans for 24/7 over the past almost-four years) I'm pretty sure 99.999999% of all children are deaf. I believe the onset of said deafness begins at about age two and continues through the adolescent and teen years, gradually becoming selective. Eventually, the female half of the species loses the deafness altogether at about age 18, coinciding with the exit from the familial nest, and regains all hearing in both ears. Male selective deafness continues throughout life, until he learns that sex will be withheld or until he is beaten to death by his wife.
How do I know this? Example 1:
Bubba. Time to brush your teeth.
Bubba continues playing with no indication of having heard me.
Bubba! Let's brush your teeth! Come on!
Bubba turns, having sensed vibrations coming from my general vicinity, but obviously senses no danger and continues crashing his trains.
BUBBA! BRUSH! TEETH! NOW!
Bubba turns, looks, takes two steps forward, then is stopped by the scary look on my face. Finally, I make a strangled, gurgling noise as I run screaming from the house. Bubba? Merely looks on, confused.
Miss-Miss. Take your plate to the sink, please.
Miss-Miss plays with her hair.
Honey, take your plate to the sink, 'kay? Please?
Still, with the hair.
MISS-MISS! PLATE! SINK! NOW!
Miss-Miss sighs with resignation, gets down from the table, and takes her toy cookie to the playroom. I? Begin mumbling to myself.
Eventually, we all know how to work around the deaf child. We just do it all ourselves. Then, once it becomes selective (doesn't hear Take out the garbage but hears Watch TV just fine), you can negotiate with video games or water parks or, you know, bodily harm. But after this milestone has been attained, the irreversible side-effects have already taken their toll on the mother:
Constantly repeating herself and mumbling to no one in particular.
Random fits of eye-rolling and frustrated sighing.
Please, everyone, be aware of these side-effects and remember the effective treatment:
Banging one's head on a brick wall.
Repeated showings of anything starring Jensen Ackles.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go color my gray, eat some Godiva, and mumble at the floor.