Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Don't Call Me, I'll Call You

If you are a stay at home parent, you must accept one truth: there is no such thing as a "good time to talk" on the phone. If you attempt to have a dialed up heart-to-heart with a friend or family member, you absolutely MUST be prepared to interrupt the conversation so you can tell your children "honey, i don't think your brother likes it when you stick your Barbie's feet in his eyes," and "try to get the yogurt into your mouth, rather than your nose."

Because here is another truth: as soon as you start dialing a number on your phone, or as soon as your cell phone starts ringing, a signal goes off in your children's brains. The signal says “ALERT! ALERT! CODE RED! Mommy wants to have adult talk! Must stop this from happening!” And then, like robots spinning out of control, your children will do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in their power to get you to stop talking on the phone.

First, your oldest little child will come right up to your face, breathe into your eyeballs, and tell you that they are terribly hungry and in desperate need of a snack.

“Hold on,” you tell your phone friend. “I just have to get Emmy some crackers.”

Your child wolfs down the crackers as quickly as possible. Then your child starts screaming, as if they have just been hired as town crier.


“Hold on,” you tell your friend. “I just have to get Emmy some napkins.”

Meanwhile, your youngest little child will see your distraction-via-phone-conversation as an ideal opportunity to discover areas of the house that have not yet been explored. So while you go fetch your oldest little child some napkins, your youngest little child teeters out of the living room and into the kitchen, where he tries “rock climbing” the cabinets.

“Hold on,” you tell your friend. “Oren is about to start brushing his hair with our kitchen knives. I should probably stop him.”

After you get your one child away from the knife set, and you wipe the cracker encrusted hands of your other child, you figure it might be a good idea to get some blocks for the kids to play with, so you can at least TRY to talk to your friend. You pour a bunch of Duplo blocks out in the middle of the living room floor and tell the kids to share nicely.

And they DO share nicely, for about 20 seconds. Then youngest little child grabs block from oldest little child, and oldest little child screams and grabs block back from youngest little child. Then youngest little child grabs a handful of oldest little child's hair and pulls REALLY REALLY HARD.

“Hold on,” you tell your friend. “I just have to unhinge my eleven month old son's very very strong fingers before he causes Emmy to be prematurely bald.”

Then there is the hugging and soothing of oldest little child. And then there is the reprimanding of youngest little child (which of course is completely useless because he is only eleven months old). Then there is the separating of the children, with youngest little child going in his high chair, to try and avoid further calamities. You give your youngest little child a few blocks to play with.


Your youngest little child uses his blocks to make ear-deafening, earth-shaking noises. Your friend asks if you are having construction done on your house. You take blocks away from your youngest little one and give him some Cheerios to eat as a snack.

Meanwhile, your oldest little one has built a large tower out of the Duplo blocks, and is trying to stand ON TOP of the very colorful mini version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

“Hold on,” you tell your friend. “I just have to stop Emmy from jumping off a tall building.”

You swoop in on your oldest little one just as she is about to fall and break a limb. And then you notice your youngest little one beginning to choke because he has stuffed his mouth full of 84 Cheerios.

“Hold on,” you tell your friend. “I just have to...”

“Should I try calling at a better time?” your friend inquires, sensing the panic in your voice.

“Um, sure,” you reply. “Can you call back right about this time... in about 14 years? I might be a LITTLE less distracted.”

1 comment:

  1. If I answer, I've decided it's as good a time as any. If I don't answer, please just text me - don't leave me a voicemail. And if I do answer and we start to talk, please take that time to immediately tell me exactly why you're calling, and don't be offended when I try to glaze over the pleasantries. We're on the clock here.