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I guess those days of screening calls are over

Posted by Kristen on October 2, 2008 at 7:09 AM in Kristen
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My friend Marelle has one of those precocious children. She was practically talking when she came out of the womb, and frankly, hasn't stopped since. A wise first grader now, I remember calling the house when she was just three and she would answer the phone.

We would have long conversations in which she would describe her day or one of her pieces of artwork. After a while, I would ask to talk to her mother. Faith would yell, "GOODBYE" and hang up quickly. Every single time. I don't think I talked to Marelle for three months. When I finally did, the truth came out. Faith wasn't ALLOWED to answer the phone. She wasn't allowed to answer the phone because 1) her mother was making an attempt to never talk to anyone on the phone and 2) Faith never actually told her mother that anyone had called.

I thought it was the most hilarious thing ever. Until The Boy discovered the phone this week. Ever since I have gotten pregnant, I have been feeling less-than-stellar. There is very little mercy in the world for the nauseous woman who never vomits. So when I'm not in the basement trying to get some order out, I have spent the better part of the last three months on the couch. I lost all four of the cordless phones but I occasionally know where my cell is. The home phone in the kitchen continues to ring. Hopes of sleeping though it are now a distant memory.

Ethan: Hello. (pause) Who's this? (pause) Hi, Wendy. (pause) She's upstairs sleeping. (pause) I'm watching my show. (pause) No, I can't wake her. She's SLEEPING. (pause) Nate's sleeping too. (pause) I'm being good. (pause) OK, bye.

Sometimes I'm asleep on the couch and I just can't get to the phone. I beg him not to answer. He ignores me. The conversation is normally about the same, with the variation of "she's sleeping on the couch" or "she's watching her show." Sometimes it's the Cake Lady, calling from the grocery store because she realizes I haven't gone in four months and my family can't live on rice forever. He shouts out questions about grocery shopping that are clearly being fed to him. There will be dinner tonight. I feel the guilt that comes with having been caught trying to not answer a phone and having the person on the other end trying to serve me. It's just that once your three-year-old has disclosed all the current events in the house, it's frowned upon to just blow off the yet-to-be-identified caller who now knows everything.

I'd try unplugging the phone, but I'm actually on the mend. When you call today, I promise to answer.

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