Earbuds have become the bane of my existence. And if you have a teenager, I’m going to bet that you’re right there with me.

raising teens

I have 3 teenage boys and they have earbuds in their ears all the live long day. They wear their earbuds on the bus. On the way to the bus. While they’re doing homework or making an after school snack. They wear them when they’re doing chores, when they’re in the bathroom and sometimes even when they’re watching tv. What? THERE IS NOISE COMING FROM THE TV. YOU CAN’T HEAR IT WITH EARBUDS IN. Why is this hard?

teens using earbuds

Earbuds are creating 2 big problems in my house. The first is the never ending search for said earbuds. On any given day, 2 of my 3 teenagers cannot find their earbuds and the whole world is going to cave in around them until they are found. Nobody can function until their beloved earbuds are back in their rightful place.

I’m still trying to understand how this can even be a problem, given that it seems their earbuds are permanently attached to their heads, but apparently their earbuds come out just often enough to get lost.

My favorite thing is when 2 of them lose their earbuds at the same time and then 1 pair is found and they fight over whose they are. It’s like a fight scene from Gladiator. And yes, I’ve put their initials on their earbuds, but teenagers are gross and they sweat a lot and their initials inevitably come off. There’s money to be made there somehow. Maybe we can make a clapper for their earbuds. When they lose them, they can clap and their earbuds light up.


When the boys first started using earbuds, they lost them more often and we spent eleventy billion dollars replacing them. We could have bought a boat with the money we spent to plug their ears up. As they’ve gotten older, they lose them less, but we still have to keep a stash to avoid an earbud emergency. Because God forbid they have to go without their earbuds for longer than 5 minutes. I mean, who even wants to live in a world without YouTube being continually streamed into your ears?

Teens and YouTubeThe second and bigger problem that I have with earbuds is that the earbuds are blocking my kids hearing. Seems obvious, I know. Here’s the thing: Children are known to have a problem with listening. Teenagers are known to have an even bigger problem with listening. So you’re taking a person with a known hearing problem and you’re putting plastic in their ears, making it almost impossible for them to hear. Does this seem smart? Do you see what my problem is?  Please tell me I’m not the only one.

Because their earbuds are always in, they never hear me the first time I speak to them, which is just my favorite thing. So then they grunt a ‘Huh?’ at me, which makes my eye start to twitch and my blood pressure jump to 300/200. And when I ask them to take their earbuds out so they can hear me, you would think I was asking them to walk to the moon backwards on their hands.  I mean, how dare I?

Fortunately, I have smart children who recognize the look of crazy in my twitching eye and right about the time I get ready to freak out on them, they realize it’s best for their safety if they take their earbuds out and use big boy words to say ‘What, Mom?’.  Bless their sweet, deaf hearts.

Now, of course I know that we are the parents and we buyeth the earbuds and we can taketh them away. And we do take them when the not listening gets out of control. But my favorite punishment the boys receive does not come from us. It comes from the cat. You see, if the boys leave their earbuds laying around, our cat will eat them. One time, Drew got up from the couch, got a drink of water, came back and his earbuds were bitten in two. Devastation ensued. This punishment is by far the worst for them. The boys regularly curse the cat and run if she tries to sit near them and their earbuds. And I just laugh. Because cat karma.

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