The problem is that I can't quite identify the problem.
And like so many problems, it starts with my children...
A few years ago I noticed a disturbing trend - my children would say something to me and I wouldn't hear it. This caused quite a bit of irritation on their part. For me, it was a nice break.
Anyway, the problem did not go away. In fact, I can honestly say it is now worse. But I'm not sure what the real problem is.
The symptom is that I can't hear my children all of the time. Now, this could be because I have hearing loss. This could be genetic - my brother is experiencing some hearing loss as well, and his is worse than mine (he's also four years younger).
It could also be environment caused - I HAVE spent a lot of time living on or near bases with very loud planes on them. And I did live through having a teenager in my house (I've got three more to go, too).
But I have a sneaking suspicion that the major issue here is not genetic or environment, but learned behavior. My hearing problem is at its worst when my children are fighting/yelling/whining/complaining/talking incessantly about what effects last night had on their gastrointestinal tracts.
Maybe I just figured out how to keep my sanity. I like to call it "Selective Hearing Loss." And I think I'll pass up on buying any of those nifty hearing aids advertised on infomercials, thank you very much.