Sunday, September 20, 2009

Call waiting

"If the phone doesn't ring, it's me"
Jimmy Buffet

If I were to call out to the kids.."who wants to help me put this laundry away?" or "Who is going to help clean up this play room?" I would be met with an eerie silence..only the sound of crickets chirping away outside. You would think that I was totally alone in this vast falling down barn of a house. The same goes when I ask them questions about their day..or what happened in school.
I don't get conversation..but instead, one word answers. There could have been a Ninja attack or free elephant rides..but I won't hear about it. Not when I ask. No, my kids save all conversation for when I am on the phone. Normally, I am very proud of my children's manners. They say please and thank you, excuse me when they interrupt a conversation..they are well behaved. Until I start talking on the telephone. That is when all bets are off. It is as if some bizarre force takes over-and they MUST have my undivided attention at that very moment. They will do anything that they can to get it. Crazy things...scary things...dangerous things..The more I attempt to hold them off-the harder they try.

I am not a fan of talking on the phone. I prefer having my conversations in person. In some cases though, there aren't any other options. My sister lives four hundred miles away, so the phone is definitely more convenient. I do try to time my conversations for when the kids are at school. There are days however, when this just doesn't work out. Close friends, family,..they understand my kids ..they are prepared to be interrupted five thousand times or so. We are working on it.
Saturday morning, I was expecting an important call. There was no other possible time for this person to call me. I warned them that we would be interrupted-a lot. No problem, they understood, they had kids too. I threatened...I mean warned the kids as well..I set them up with snacks, computer games DVDs..I told them "This is an important call..please let me talk-IN PEACE!" They said that they would and went off to the various things that I had set out for them. At around ten a.m. the phone rang. The kids were all occupied for the moment-so I rushed to answer it. I wanted to get as much conversation in-before they noticed.

Me: "Hello?"

Caller: "Kathleen?"

Me: "Yeah..Hi!..Could you hold on a second please...Sammy! now is not the time to tell me about Pokemon-I am on the phone...I'll be off in a minute..yes, in a minute.. I'm sorry, the kids seem to need me more when I'm on the phone..."

Caller: "That's o.k. I was calling about..

Me: "Sorry!..hold on a second please...What Oscar? is not the time to say that.. I am on the phone..Osc...not now..not...sigh..fine Chowders Feet!..o.k.? Go play on the computer...I'll be off in a minute...sorry..where were we?.."

Caller: "That's fine, I wanted to tell you about.."

Me: "Ahhh...hold on!! Lily!!! Get off of the table right now! ..NOW!! We do not stand on tables!!! Now Lil! You want what? I'm on the phone..I'll be off in a few..what? The river?!! Zoe you are three! You can not play online poker!.I don't care if you have two Q's!!...sorry..I'm back..(BEEP) sigh.. hold on it's call waiting..Hello? Yes this is Kathleen..oh.. Hi! I thought I was already talking to.. uh oh..can you hold on?' (click) Hello ? um...who AM I speaking with?"

Caller:"Kathleen?...I was calling with important news about your Sunday newspaper delivery"

Me:" I don't have the Sunday paper delive...hold on...Sammy-STOP! Never stick a knife in the toaster!! that is dangerous! You could electrocute yourself! get it out this way...I'm sorry..I don't get the Sunday paper...hello? ..hello?...(click) hello?...hello?" sigh..both of them hung up.

I can look at this a number of different ways..The important call I was waiting for? Well if it is that important they will call me kids did learn that putting a knife in the toaster and standing on tables can be dangerous things. Although saying "Chowders Feet", and asking for help with online poker..we will just have to work harder on those things. As for telemarketers?
I doubt that I will be receiving calls about the Sunday paper any time soon..I do know this. If I ever want my kids undivided attention, if I ever want to know what they are up to, what they are doing...all I have to do is pick up the phone.


Kim Wombles said...

How are they when you are on the computer? :-)

That was hilarious, maybe notsomuch when you are actually on the phone, but funny nonetheless.

Savant skill; I'm telling you, your own discovery show just waiting to happen. :-)

One Houdini like child who climbs into cat carriers and one who plays (and wins) online poker. No telling the talents the other two have to offer!

kathleen said...

They are AWFUL when I am trying to do computer things!! Zoe likes to help me fact she is commenting right now that I wrote her name! I am so tempted to take her to Vegas though...she is really quite good at poker.:)

denise said...

"Hi Janet! What did you do at school today?"

"ABC school!"

"Yes Janet, I KNOW that you go to ABC school. But what did you DO today?"

"ABC school!" she snaps back at me.

Every single school day......

It kinda cracks me up, how she explains to me WHERE she goes to school at. As if I'd just put her on the bus and not really care to know where they're taking her :)

Maybe I will just fake phone conversations and ask her questions then. You always give me the greatest ideas Kathleen !

kathleen said...

I know-Oscar does the same thing! It sometimes makes me wonder what he thinks when he answers that he was at school...Picking up the phone-never fails! I usually find out much more than I ever wanted to know..:)

Clay said...

But - was there a cactus in Oscar's classroom? (Sorry, just perseverating).

Humph! Spellchecker is trying to say that 'perseverating' is spelled wrong. What does it know? ;-)

kathleen said...

Hi Clay..No boy just came up with a great metaphor for how he was feeling-pretty cool. I trust you over spell check! You know...gamma rays and all..:)

Clay said...

Dang, I went and got the URL for pics of Gardner McKay, but with this small window motif, there's no way to cut and paste it in here. Well, I'll just remind you then. And there was Richard Egan too. Good looking guys.

jazzygal said...

Ha Ha Ha...very funny Kathleen and oh so typical and familiar!

You've described what happens in my house all so often!

Thanks for the laugh! xx Jazzy

kathleen said...

@Clay-I'll pass it on to Louise! :)
@Jazzygal-Yes, I think any family no matter what has phone issues :)