Watching our boys develop and mature, Rich and I have decided that, along with puberty, boys between the ages of 10 and 12 go through the Hama Hama stage. (rhymes with Obama…)
We theorize that brains are working so quickly and randomly that the mouth cannot keep up… which accounts for the unintelligible, garbled speech that typifies the Hama Hama stage of development.
This phase was named when Devin was in the middle of it. He could be asking if there were any more apples in the refrigerator, but it would sound like: Araya frige ap hama hama in uh, mom?
(Seriously. Not much of an exaggeration.) We tried getting him to slow down. We tried getting him to enunciate very carefully. Nothing was working, so we resorted to the most effective treatment we could think of: Family Ridicule.
We took to yelling Hama Hama! whenever he did it. One night after an exciting round of knock-knock jokes at the dinner table, Conner brought the house down and had us in complete hysterics.
You probably had to have been there, but we laugh about it to this very day. Fortunately, it really does seem to be a phase. Devin has grown out of it. (I will be so thankful when he grows out of the eye-rolling, smart-ass-muttering-under-his-breath phase as well!)
Mitch is showing symptoms of Hama Hama, and usually results with him giving up with an “ugh!” sound of disgust, due to the fact that his mouth is not cooperating with his brain.
Conner is a different story. Conner is in full blown Hama Hama mode. This problem is compounded by the fact that he also has new braces and a bite plate on the roof of his mouth. However, Conner (who was the first to jump on the Family Ridicule bandwagon) will not admit he has a problem. He says we are not listening properly.
In addition to this, Conner has hearing problems. He is doing the normal kid-not-paying-attention. Expected. But he is also twisting words, instructions and phrases immediately. There isn’t time for him to forget what we say… it’s immediate. Exaggerated example:
“Conner, please put your backpack away.”
(He heads out the front door empty handed)
“Where are you going? I asked you to put your backpack away.”
“Nah-uh! You told me to go play in the street and throw tomatoes at passing cars!”
“No I did not! I said put your backpack away!”
“No you said go in the street and throw tomatoes at cars! Yes you did mom!”
This exchange is accompanied by an incredulous look and tears welling in his eyes because he is so frustrated. He knows what he heard, and for some cruel reason his mom is lying to him, just to mess with his head.
It’s just a maddening argument now, but a long time ago it was kind of cute when he misheard or misunderstood what I said. I used to say “Calgon, take me away!” on a fairly regular basis. Said it for years, and sometimes still do.
One day while helping out in Conner’s 2nd grade class, there was a fire drill. I tried to help the teacher get the kids out of the classroom in neat, orderly lines and get them to the “safety spot.” Conner and a few of his buddies were screwing around in the line. I reminded them 3 times that it was practice for an emergency and they needed to behave and take it seriously. The 4th time I got tough and told them I was going to have them miss recess or something. Conner said: “You guys better do as she says, I think her cow is gone.”
“You know mom! When your cow is gone, you say to take you away.”
Along with “Hama Hama”, the phrase “my cow is gone” has become part of our family lexicon. Now when I’m on the verge of becoming Screechy Mommy, I tell them “My cow is almost gone” and they try their best to behave.
I am hopeful that Conner’s Hama Hama phase will pass quickly, or at least improve once some of the orthodontia comes off. (I think that Mitch’s Hama Hama phase will be less severe.) But unfortunately, I think this hearing impairment of Conner’s is here to stay.
Gonna go find my earplugs and my bath salts now.
The Chicken Lady says
I see a couple of things wrong here.
First, kids brains DO NOT work in the age bracket. I don’t think they start working until they move out.
Second, Connor doesn’t have a hearing problem, it’s a man thing. Selective hearing, you silly! 🙂
Hope you found some bath salts or at least some fizzy balls and had some cow gone time. 🙂
you had my laughing out loud! Great post.
I have girls an they just mumble,mumble,mumble! The more they mumble the more I know my answer is going to be a very quick and loud NO! They knew the answer before they even mumbled the question.