Elvis sang about me…..

Before I became a mom, I was a bit anxious about my ability to take care of offspring. Would I be able to hear my newborn’s cries of distress? Would I understand my child’s first sweet words? Could I take care of my children despite my deafness?

I need not have worried. Once I crossed the threshold into motherhood, I was pleased to discover my hearing loss adequately compensated with an otherworldly ability to gather information by scent. This skill has served me well over the years, covering every stage of development in my children’s lives. My olfactory sense enables me to:

  • detect a dirty diaper from 20 feet away (Infant stage)
  • determine who ate the missing cookies (Toddler  – Preteen years)
  • know if smokers have been around my children (Teen years)
  • smell TROUBLE (Early Adulthood)

Consider the following exchange between my teenage daughter and me just before she turned 18:

“Where did you go?”

“To a house.”

“What did you and your friends do?”


If she won’t give me details, I’ll find out for myself. I call my firstborn to me and begin sniffing.

“I smell cigarette smoke! Have you been smoking?“


I raise her hands to my nose. She’s telling the truth.

“Let me smell your breath!“

She rolls her eyes and lets out an exaggerated sigh. Hmmm. No alcohol or tobacco scent.

“Okay, you can go.“

Before she departs for her room, she gives me the evil eye and says, “Mom, you’re like a HOUND DOG sniffing me all the time!“

Aren’t the teenage years precious?


  1. Kim Said:

    hahaha! This is so funny and SO TRUE! One time I came home from work and could smell my daughter’s friend Julie had been there. She always wore a particular brand of perfume I identified her by. I walked in the door and asked,’Oh–was Julie here?’

    My daugher was flabbergasted!
    “Mom! She left HOURS AGO! How did you know she was here?!?”

    “I could smell her,” I said. They still talk about this sometimes. :-)

  2. Lirpalou Said:

    I love your blog!

    I never realized that my freakish sense of smell could be the compensation for my HOH! I love that my daughter won’t be able to get away with much of anything as she navigates her way thru the teen years. I was a juvenile delinquent (we do tend to turn out OK, for all you other moms out there), so I’ve seen it, done it, heard it (while I could), and probably smoked it. Guess what? I know what THAT smells like, too! HA!

    My frustration lies in the fact that my daughter is also HOH (aids bilaterally, low tones heard better than high tones) and still gets frustrated trying to accomodate MY HOH (low tone-deaf and can hear high-frequency tones). Yes, that means that we are HOH at opposite ends of the frequency spectrum! EEK! (I can hear EEK better than a heavy *sigh*)

    I love knowing that I am not alone in my tinnitis (sp?) nightmare, and that my challenges with mumbling, mustaches, and deep voices are not unique. Thanks for your sense of humor!

  3. Hoh Said:


    Thanks for sharing your story! That must be quite an ordeal with you and your daughter having reverse hearing losses.

    Thanks for visiting!


  4. Thanks. Oregon.

  5. Andrea Said:

    I too worried before my son was born that I wouldn’t be able to hear him. More specifically mine was because I was a heavy sleeper and didn’t know if I’d wake up to his cries. My husband had to poke me a few times but I started waking up to his cries after a few times of hubby poking me.

    There are times that my husband can be sitting on the couch and will tell me that Alex is crying and I just look at him because I don’t hear him crying!

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