If you call me, be warned: I will inevitably spend most of the conversation getting after my kids. Don't take it personally. It isn't because I don't want to talk to you. It's because there's some unwritten rule that says children, no matter how well-behaved normally, will act like heathens on a rampage once their mother is on the phone. You can do everything in your power to ensure they're distracted beforehand - but it never works for long.

It's a problem as old as the phone itself. Did Alexander Graham Bell have kids? If so, they probably acted up while he was on the phone with his assistant. History books tell us the first words ever spoken on the telephone were, "Mr. Watson, come here - I want to see you." If Mr. Bell had children, I guarantee those words were followed by a menacing hiss of, "You stop that right now or I'll ..."

I pity the mothers of the pre-cordless phone era, who were helplessly tethered to a wall while their kids went haywire. These unfortunate moms had only two choices:
- Waggle their fingers in the international "no no" gesture, or wave their hand in a threatening spanking/smacking motion
- Put the phone down, repeatedly, while they chased after the perpetrators
Seeing as they were restricted by the cord, they had no choice but to nervously glance toward the splashing sounds coming from the bathroom, or scowl menacingly at a child running by in hopes that the one look would say it all. (By the way, I've tried that. All it really seems to say is, "I'm not going to come after you, so do your worst.")

Modern moms, while still vexed by the age-old problem of such misbehavior, are lucky; we can investigate strange noises (or suspicious silences, which are usually more threatening) and remove children from undesirable situations, all without having to put the phone down. But until someone comes up with a better solution - or my kids outgrow it, whichever comes first - my phone conversations will be peppered with "no" and "stop" and "get out of that" and "shh!" ... And numerous apologies to the caller, who by the end, probably wishes he or she hadn't called at all.

So if we don't talk on the phone very often, you never have to wonder why I don't call. It isn't because I don't enjoy our chats - it's because e-mail, where you can't hear me griping every 2.5 seconds, is better for us both. Trust me.


  1. Too funny....I don't take an offense to you getting after the boys when I's rather amusing to someone who doesn't have kiddo's yet. This is Denni by the way b/c I still don't know what flippin' profile thing I need to click on if I don't have an stupid Google Acct! Grrrrrr

  2. I'm glad you don't mind, because I know if I were you it would drive me nuts!

  3. Just wait until they grow out of this stage--once I could write I would constantly write my mom notes while she was on the phone, which may have been even more annoying!

  4. OMG, true ... I used to do the same thing, but had forgotten about that irritating stage until you mentioned it!

  5. When your older siblings were little, I had a 12-ft. phone cord. I swear they would stand 13 feet from me and do something forbidden, like pouring bubble bath powder on the living room carpet and then trying to clean it up by putting water on it! UGH!


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