Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Telephone Conversations, Interrupted

My daughter is three and a half and obsessed with the telephone. If you call my house, you will have to talk to her, which I know is a very annoying requirement and one I never understood before I had children when I would telephone my friends and be forced to speak to their little hooligans. But, now I know. The child will not be denied her phone time.

Tonight, she was speaking on one of her many pretend cell phones (the pink one) and she said, "Oh, I can't come to your party." Pause. "I have babies here." Pause. "And I can't drive."

Then she asked, "Daddy, did you see the dinosaur in the forest? Did it bite you? Did it bite your head or your toes or your legs?"

Apparently, he indicated that the dinosaur bit him on the head.

And then the imaginary conversation ended.

Earlier in the day, I made a telephone call to New York, New York . . . while my daughter was busy playing on the other computer. (She's very competent and probably she'll be fluent in html before long.) I had to leave a message, though.

And, of course, later, the woman from New York returned my call and so I hurried upstairs in a desperate bid for privacy and quietness with the phone in one hand and the paperwork in the other and closed the door to my bedroom (with no lock on its door, drat!) and the bathroom. We were having a rational conversation when my daughter came stomping upstairs, talking to me, insisting on my full attention, and finally, crying, as I rushed away from her in a effort to finish my conversation.

Later, I attempted another telephone call to an East coast blogger (Barbara Curtis), because I needed some advice and reassurance and, of course, although I left my daughter safely upstairs, happily chatting with her daddy, she appeared at my elbow, whining and then sobbing while I tried to talk. Then, the other three year old woke up and he started whimpering about his runny nose and about being hungry . . . then my 8-year old walked by and motioned some unintelligible question at me . . . and finally, I had to say good-bye before my head exploded and my eyeballs popped out.

I have to say, I miss the days of long, uninterrupted telephone conversations. And I'd like to know why having a telephone pressed to my right ear reminds the children of their urgent needs and desires that only I can fulfill.


Blogger HomeJewel said...

Uninterrupted phone calls? Are you taking drugs or something? I can't even fantasize about that it's so beyond reality for me.

I like your new pic - looks great!

12:09 AM  
Blogger Turtle Guy said...

Firstly, I'm with HJ - very nice photo.

The cell phone was cute... I have a niece who's 3 - almost 4 and the stories are much the same... endearing.

You long for privacy for your phone calls? There are days here when I wish I had that problem! (just a little flip-side for you...)

4:38 AM  
Blogger Christi said...

Oh! And I thought it was only MY boys! I'm so glad this is apparently 'normal' behavior.

4:56 AM  
Blogger judy said...

My daughter once answered the phone, handed it to me and said: "It's the McGummy Worms".

It was Montgomery Wards. But, it was such a clue into her litte world.

Oh, and I bestow on you the 5W's.
wow, Wow, WOW, WOW! WOW!!

You are beautiful!

5:20 AM  
Blogger methatiam said...

Great Pic!

6:28 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Awww. Look how cute you are!!!! You led us all to believe you were pale and harried with awful hair, but look at you...just beautiful!!

(I also noticed you finally turned 41! Congratulations!

6:57 AM  
Blogger jackabug said...

wow! look at your picture! You
speak of yourself like you're a frumpy lady with out of control hair! You look like a movie star!

7:06 AM  
Blogger Leslee said...

Yeah, I've also wondered that question. Perhaps they just sense that our attention is somewhere else and are drawn to us. I think I should walk around the house with a phone stuck to my ear all the time talking to myself so that she'll just get use to and never really know if there's a real person on the other end or not.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Chewy Mom said...

Mel??? I just did a double take when I saw your new picture in the sidebar! Holy Cow! I always pictured you as a three-year-old--I didn't even realize I was doing it! My how you've changed! (Cute picture, by the way!)

7:32 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Phone to ear is some sort of sign to my kids to raid the pantry or get into something that I have previously told them to stay out of. I also use the run and hide method. It doesn't work. I avoid the phone now. Luckily all my friend have computers. Love, love, love the picture!

7:48 AM  
Blogger Juliabohemian said...

I was never much of a phone talker. But, now if I want to make an important call (Dr's appt or plumber etc) I lock myself in the bathroom.

My 5 year old has taken to picking up the phone and bringing it to us to answer.

My 3 year old has long conversations on her imaginary phone, which I enjoy listening to. She actually paces back and forth while talking.

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Traci said...

I nipped this one in the bud when my son was 3. He now knows that unless he is bleeding or dying that he is not to speak to me while the phone is to my ear. The time out chair and rewarding worked great. When he would began speaking I would give him a shhh warning with my finger to my lips. If that didn't work, I would excuse myself to the person on the other end and pick him up and take him to the TO chair, tell him that it was rude to speak to me while I was on the phone and then I would walk away. If he was quite after the first shhhh warning, he got a sticker, piece of candy, etc. We hardly ever use the TO chair anymore...well at least not for the phone issue. :)

By the way, love the pic. It's so nice to be able to put a face with a blog.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Deborah said...

Hi, 1) love the photo. Funny, you look just like I imagined. 2) I work outside the home so most of my 'important' calls came to me at work. I RARELY talked on the phone for recreation. My mom never mentioned this being a problem, I suspect she would have employed traci's method-to some degree. Now, however, as the general consenus is that I don't have a life, my 20 y.o. daughter can't imagine to whom I might be speaking with whenever I might find myself on the phone these days-which, still is rare-but it does happen.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Eyes said...

Melodee!!! I didn't read your post, forgive me. I saw your photo for the first time. It's like a first introduction! It's so cool to finally see you :)

9:37 AM  
Blogger ~Jennifer said...

Hey, there you are! You look great.

Uninterrupted phone calls? Don't you know you have to go get a room at the nearest hotel for that? Not even bathrooms with locks will work.

10:25 AM  
Blogger oshee said...

I too think you look lovely in your picture. Good for you on being able to choose one.

Phone calls...I don't tend to have long phone conversations. It usually just isn't in me. The trouble I am having lately is that my children love to answer the telephone. For the most part, they have learned they shouldn't answer unless we've given permission, but still it happens. This has rubbed off onto my almost 2 yr-old. If he happens to be next to the phone when it rings, he picks it up, says 'eh-oh', mumbles in his babble language for a few, says "buh-buh" and hangs up. We have to try to get to him before he reaches the buh-buh. So, I am glad your daughter is past the hanging up because she's finished stage.

11:30 AM  
Blogger SuperMom said...

I, too, have had many conversations in the bathroom with lots of "background noise".

My sixteen-month-old constantly has a phone. Though we have many to choose from around here, she, of course, prefers mine. What's the fascination? I didn't mind letting her play with it until she called someone I'd been trying to avoid. Now she's done it twice. So, I either stop letting her play with my phone, which will result in ear-piercing screams, or delete the number from my phone.

I'm pretty sure I'll go for the latter.

BTW - I noticed your comment about reciprocal linking. I linked to your blog awhile ago, just because I like reading it. Now I'm shamelessly asking for a link on yours. I feel a little strange saying it, but here goes: "Could you put a link to my blog on your blog...PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE?"

12:52 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Wow I love the new pic! Somehow I pictured you with dark, curlier, hair, though. I have no idea why, but I did!!

12:53 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I'm convinced that my kids have some sort of weird sonar that tells them when I'm on the phone. They could be oblivious to the fact that we even co-exist on the same planet, but the minute I try to make a phone call, they think they need me desperately for something! I feel your pain.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Shalee said...

So that's the Mel we laugh at, ummm I mean, with most everyday. Nice to see you finally... And not a single bag under the eyes. You are such a tease.

I hate being on the phone. But if I am the kids will inveritably find that the world is going to end and only I, SuperMom can save it.

Hey, somebody's got to do it. It might as well be me since I'm doing everything else.

1:16 PM  
Blogger mrs darling said...

I just spent a bunch of time catching up on your blog. Paid blogger? I'm green with envy! But I really think you deserve to be paid. Your blog is good stuff.

Ive always said that if I need to round up the kids all I need to do is call the house phone on the cell phne. They'll be by my side instantly!

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All children are possessed by the phone demon when their mothers are on the phone. Yours are obviously no exception. Good luck!

2:27 PM  
Blogger Carrien said...

There is nothing like a phone at the ear to forcibly remind my children that I am not in fact whole-heartedly paying attention to them and only them as I should with every waking, and sleeping, breath. They then proceed to misbehave in escalating order until
I have no choice but to terminate the call in order to beat them. (kidding)

I swear they're jealous.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Tiffany (aka minza9mm@aol.com) said...

If, I fail to answer the phone and/or Shannon bleating, "Telephone, telephone, Mommmmyyyy telephone!" Shannon may answer. She says, "Hellwow, talks about Gramma, Joe-Joe (her cousin) and Pablo's mountain, (a Dora the Explorer's reference)she will prattle on for quite sometime. To the poor unsuspecting soul who had the misfortune of calling here. This usually is terminates when I miss, her wonder at the quiet, rush to find her, as goodness can only guess as to what mess she has made. Most people rue the day when they call here. Maybe I should have Shannon call your DD.

8:45 PM  

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