Wait. . .What?


I hear it many times each day:  “Wait. . .what?”  You can call it selective hearing – or you can call it selective deafness.  I choose to call it “The Bubble Effect.”

A morning conversation in my classroom might go like so:  “I want to pray for my grandpa, because his car died and now he has to get it fixed.”  Another voice will pipe up: “Wait. . .what?  His grandpa died?”  I will explain that it was the car that died, not the grandpa.  And then the next voice will say: “Wait. . .what?  Whose grandpa’s car died?”  And around we’ll go again.

It’s a fact of life with middle schoolers, right up there with waiting outside the bathroom door while your 13-year-old spends hours in front of the mirror.  And the two are actually related: they’re absorbed with their reflections because they’re studying the outward changes they’re going through, and they’re unable to focus on conversations around them because they’re thinking about the inward changes.  They’re stuck in their bubbles!

As they adapt to all these changes, I promise you they will creep out of The Bubble and gradually rejoin the world around them.

In the meantime, it’s irritating, but most of the time it’s amusing.  Take my advice – life with a teen is easier if you just shake your head and laugh.

Wait. . .what?


  1. When I read the title, I thought you were going to talk about a different type of “Wait…what?” My 15 year old is quite wise. She knows pretty much everything, even what I am about to say. So while I am talking, I can see her thinking, “blah blah I know all this.” (She is wise enough not to say it anymore!) When I say something unexpected or give her new information, that is when I get the “Wait…what?”

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