Monday, July 14, 2008

Phone Call Induced Insanity

What is it about a telephone that causes children to utterly lose all sense of reason?

Why does a phone in the hand of a mother on a business-related call (during which the mother is unable to say "Excuse me, I must go scream at my children") cause otherwise intelligent and well-behaved children to go all kamikaze and insane?!?

At 2PM today I said to my children, who were mesmerized by Zach & Cody and the other gang at the Tipton, "I am going to go do a phone call. I will be done in a little while. You just watch your show and we will do something fun when I am done."

At 2:05 I look up and Sprout is putting a plastic sword in her belt loop as if preparing for battle. The sword that she got down from the VERY HIGH shelf where it is kept so that children do not use it to do battle. The man on the other end of the phone was telling me Important Things That I Need to Know. And I am mouthing "NO NO NO NO NO" at my child who smiles and then shrugs that she can't hear me, and walks away.


At 2:10 the doorbell rings. My children are familiar with the rule that we don't answer the door without a grown-up. And yet, the little chime on the front door rings, which means that children are escaping. So I have to say, "Excuse me for a moment, but I think my children are escaping", and put the phone on hold while I go round up the troops. Sprout felt that the mail couldn't sit on the front step and had to get it. I locked the door and whisked her back to the TV. The TV that she loves and can hardly be separated from. Unless I am ON THE PHONE.

I get back on the phone and apologize and the very understanding project manager says it is OK, he understands. He has kids, too.

At 2:20 there is a HUGE crash. And crying. Loud crying. So again, I must say, "Excuse me, apparently my children are attempting to kill themselves,"and again put the call on hold.

And Sprout is laying on the floor CRYING that the gate for the dog fell on her. So I get her an ice pack, and replant her in front of the TV and tell her that if she or her brother (who was climbing over the half-wall from the kitchen at the time) did anything else that caused me to have to leave the call, I was going to lose this job and that would be TROUBLE.

So all was quiet for the remaining 5 minutes of the call.

So I went out and lectured them a bit about rules being rules whether I am in the room or not. Regardless of the current position of the phone.

And I fully anticipate that tomorrow, when I have the follow-up call, there is going to be more insanity. But WHY???

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