Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Talking, and the Phone

As for the phone, I can’t even say I have a “love-hate” relationship with it. Sure, as a teen, I was glued to it – cord attached from handle to base and all. (Remember those?) But now? Text? Anytime. Talk? Please text me.

Maybe it’s my effort to feel “young and vibrant”, since so many kids these days don’t actually use their phones to talk anymore.

But last night, I had another, “Teaching Moment à la Kristina.” And it had to do with talking on the phone. She decided she wants to have her hair cut by someone besides her ombre-coiffed mother. (That’s fancy talk for my hair is going gray, so might as well make it sound chic, huh?) Swamped with life, I kept forgetting to pick up the phone and call.

Except on Sunday and Monday…

…when they are closed.

So, the other day, she not only reminded me to pick up the phone, she insisted upon it. And knowing her history of interrupting my phone conversations, I had my own insisting to do. I emphasized how important it was that she not interrupt me. I issued ‘the’ warning, just as many other parents have done throughout time immemorial.

Do not interrupt me unless impending doom is ascending upon the house.

So, while she was in another room, I picked up the phone, and called. Then I made a mistake. I used the word “trim” instead of “cut”.

Apparently doing so unleashed impending doom, and she rushed in to correct my word choice.

In a very loud and not so happy manner. That not only flustered me, but the woman on the other end of the line, hearing it all go down. Ignoring my hand signals (got to love social cue awareness – or lack thereof – at times like this), I headed to the one space of last resort – the bathroom. After an apology to the receptionist, and another lovely moment at the hair dressers firmly imprinted in my memory, I hung up the phone, and told her I needed five minutes.

I really, really needed five minutes of quiet.

Then the discussion began. Then the revelation. Kristina has always interrupted our phone conversations, and I figured it was just one of “those” things we’d forever be working on. But that’s not going to be the case anymore. And the reason had me feeling overwhelming empathy for my teen.

“Mom, you mean that people can hear noises on the phone except for the person they are talking to and dog barks.”

“Yes, Kristina, they can.”

Kristina sunk into the couch with the look of overwhelming embarrassment riddled across her tear-stained face.

“Why didn’t you tell me that before? I never knew that. I never…”

And she didn’t.

Just wanted to share her perspective of talking, and the phone.


  1. Aww...great story, Julie. Even as parents we are always learning. Sometimes we just take for granted that kids just "know". I hope Kristina liked her hair cut!

  2. Thanks, Jo-Ann! Honestly, after being so flustered, I made the appointment for the wrong guess who has to call back the salon? :) Have a great day - and happy painting.