Hangin’ on the Telephone

Here’s a scenario from a typical afternoon at our house: The children are playing.  They grab a snack.  They might run upstairs to get a toy.  They may decide to watch a DVD.  I am here–in the very room they’re inhabiting, or perhaps in the adjacent room.  I might be writing or doing the fourth load of laundry of the day.  I could be making dinner.  The point of all this, of course, is that I am largely unnoticed by the young men with whom I share this space. 

Until the phone rings . . .

The minute I say hello, the energy shifts: I am suddenly in demand–the most popular girl in the place.  Children that were thirty-six seconds before happily and somewhat silently ensconced in an art project or reading a book are now full-on wrestling, suddenly looking for the scissors, or depositing laundry into the trashcan.  It is audible mayhem, and it’s a phenomenon unlike any other.  

I used to be better on the phone, and even enjoyed the occasional leisurely conversation; but lately, given the demands for attention that ringing bell elicits, I have been avoiding it–not answering it, only returning calls if I have a moment alone. 

Some have advised me to tell the boys that when the phone rings they need to adhere to certain boundaries–which I have done and do, and sometimes it works.  But I truly have to reserve that for the times I have no choice but to be on the phone.  Informal chit-chat is no longer a possibility.  Relaxed conversation is anything but relaxed when you have one child needing a diaper change and the other two declaring each other arch-nemeses.  It’s not even that I can’t give my full attention to the person on the other end of the line; oftentimes I can’t even hear them. 

So, when you call, please don’t be offended when I don’t answer.  I can’t.  I’ll try to call you back, if I can; otherwise, I promise to email once everyone is in bed–that is, if I don’t follow my children there . . . but my new proclivity for an eight o’clock bedtime for myself is a story for another day.


3 thoughts on “Hangin’ on the Telephone

  1. Aaawwww they sound gorgeous!!-look it too-what handsome lads!!. I am Shameme, a half Asian girl from Northern England. Due to medical problems it’s not really wise i have a biological child and so i’de love to adopt someday!, Russia is as good a place as anywhere!-the LARGEST country in the world!!. Would love to stay intouch, my email is shameme.adams@gmail.com.

    • Love it! My two-year-old is practicing his dialing skills (when he’s not throwing the phone in the garbage can)!

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