I’m On the (Bleeping) Phone!

by Abby on April 16, 2012

The stomach bug has struck our house. Again. So in lieu of a new post, please accept this one from my archives. Now back to Clorox and laundry…

Is This a Good Time?

Baby talking on the telephoneI admit it. Pre-motherhood, I used to get annoyed when I’d call my friends who had kids and the conversation would go like this:

Me: “Hi, how are you?”

My friend: “Exhausted. The baby was up at — No, you can’t have another Go-Gurt! — 2 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. for no apparent reason and then — We do NOT sit on our brother’s head!! — I had to take the car into the shop but — Hey! Can’t you guys SEE that I am on the PHONE?! The next person who talks gets a time out!… Sorry. You there? Now what was I saying?”

Me: “Um, I’ll let you go. Bye!”

Now I am that annoying, distracted person on the other end. And I’ve learned to start conversations with, “Can you talk?” I used to say, “Are you busy?” But come on, when is a mom NOT busy? If her kids aren’t bleeding and she can chat while she changes a diaper, that’ll do.

Anyway, the challenge of finding time for a phone call is not really a matter of being busy, but rather, available. It’s not that I’m too busy doing something productive — like, say, typing an e-mail — when somebody calls. It’s that I’m preoccupied by my son who’s trying to float my iPod in the dog’s water bowl. Or that I can’t talk because he’s just launched himself off the coffee table.

Often, my son waits until I’m on the phone to do something bad. He knows I’m distracted and will probably let it go. Like, say, if he dumps an entire cup of water on the floor. Or crushes his crackers into the carpet with his truck. When I was away one weekend I called my husband at home and heard him yelling, “Hey, stop that!” While he was on the phone our son had gone into the pantry, grabbed a box of spaghetti, thrown it on the floor and was stomping on it.

So if you call me and our conversation is interrupted 7 times in the first 3 minutes, I apologize. If I seem distracted, it doesn’t mean I’m not listening. I can fish a spatula out of the toilet and talk at the same time. Now, what were you saying?

LAUGH O’ THE DAY: Because the phone fiasco is universal among moms, I gave my friend a birthday card that showed a retro-looking baby holding a rotary phone and screaming. The caption said, “Will everyone please shut the hell up?! I’m on the friggin’ phone!” Too bad I forgot her son can read.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Ali April 16, 2012 at 7:54 am

That’s why I text message and email; I can wait until bébé is asleep/napping before I sit down and catch up on conversations, or type a quick sentence or two on my phone while bébé is guzzling his bottle. If I absolutely have to talk, for whatever reason, I’ll put in my earpiece and make it snappy!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 16, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Well this is only about the most truthful thing I’ve read all day!! SOOO true!! I have 4 kids. I basically haven’t had a real phone conversation in half a decade lol

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Jo April 17, 2012 at 9:19 am

Yes. This. I pretty much have to ignore phone calls when the kids are awake and call back later. The other thing we have trouble with is when a repairman enters the house and I’m trying to explain something (usually like why there’s a My Little Pony clogging the toilet), my 3 year old goes berserk. It gets easier… right?? Hope you all feel better soon! Been there, it is no fun.

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Angie Mizzell April 18, 2012 at 9:26 am

This is why I love texting!

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Frume Sarah April 18, 2012 at 9:27 pm

I thought that those moms just had a problem defining clear boundaries. I should call them all back and apologize for thinking such things.

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