Home > mommy time, parenting > Free Range Moms (aka can I puh-leeze have a phone conversation?)

Free Range Moms (aka can I puh-leeze have a phone conversation?)

There’s a crazy phenomenon that happens anytime I put a phone to my ear… it emits some kind of high frequency signal audible only to children and dogs, which they seem to take as a sign that it is time to bug the piss out of me.

Sounds familiar to some of you, doesn’t it?

Twice today I tried to talk to a friend on the phone. Between a three hour time difference and conflicting work schedules, it’s not that often I get to talk to this particular person on the phone… and most of the time the conversation ends with me thinking of half a dozen things I would have liked to have said or asked but I got distracted or interrupted or I had a little person sitting at my feet, listening like a CIA informant.

The first time I had two little girls come running with some urgent question, triggered, I am sure, by the phone ringing. I walked into my room and shut the door.  A little while later I heard someone knocking on my bedroom door.

Mommy, are you ok?

Mommy is in time-out.

Fast forward about for hours. Phone rings. Same friend, same thing happens within about the first 45 seconds of conversation. Three children who were playing happily in their rooms are now in the kitchen exclaiming over how the salmon looks just like the tail of a fish on the one side… AS IF THEY HAVE NEVER SEEN SALMON BEFORE.

I had to send them out of the room twice. 

After I got off the phone, once again feeling like I had half the conversation I could have had, I call the three of them into the room and went into my monologue that beings with, “How many times have I told you…” and as I was winding down, I asked the three of them,

“How often does this phone ring and it’s someone calling to talk to me?”

All three of them looked at me in complete and utter confusion. The best they could come up with was, “Almost never.”

Well, there you have it. This is why my children become homing pigeons every time the phone rings.  They expect the call to be, in some way, about them. Either Dad calling to talk to them, or extended family who will either talk to them or about them or something relevant to them, or at the very least, asks me to relay some kind of message to them at the end of the conversation. Even when a girlfriend calls the house, it’s usually to discuss some activity that is going to involve them.

Like anybody does when faced with a parenting problem, I turned to the internet. And didn’t really find any articles on how to get your child to stop interrupting you while on the phone that wasn’t geared towards children under the age of five.

My youngest child is six.

So in a nutshell, I’ve done this to myself. Children are naturally egocentric… but I think I’ve managed to aptly demonstrate that they won’t grow out of it if their mama is completely kid-centric. I recalled a blog that Becky recently shared, about Free Range Kids. I was thinking I should look into it, seeing as I am about two fingers away from a panic attack at any given minute because my son turns 13 this summer. As if that’s not reason enough, at age 13, he will be too old for any summer recreation programs that start before I have to be at work and won’t require him to get himself there without me. Granted, Tyler has ADHD and that has it’s complications… but I don’t think my constant “super surveillance” is necessarily a net benefit to him. He’ll definitely make it to adulthood with me on the job… but will he be functional without me? Will Halle and Daija be?

Or a scarier question… will I be functional without them?

   We are not daredevils. We believe in life jackets and bike helmets and air bags. But we also believe in independence.
   Children, like chickens, deserve a life outside the cage. The overprotected life is stunting and stifling, not to mention boring for all concerned.  
Why FreeRange? « FreeRangeKids

I think maybe it’s time for me to develop a little independence… and hopefully, set a better example for them by being a well-rounded adult.

  1. Becky
    May 11, 2009 at 7:03 AM

    I was about to blog about this myself, sort of. Different spin.

    Anyway, I loved this, and you nailed it. I will be thinking of you (of course!) as you navigate these murky waters of “independence.”

    • May 13, 2009 at 7:00 PM

      Can’t wait to read your spin, chiquita!

      • eiseyes
        May 17, 2009 at 3:55 PM

        Girl. Is this the blog? Officially? I can never find you anymore. Way too many blogs out there.

        I set my kids loose on the world in a much bigger way this year. And yes it is completely so I can have my computer to myself.

      • May 18, 2009 at 7:23 AM

        Yes, it’s official… but don’t worry, there’s nothing here that wasn’t also/already blogged at myspace so you didn’t miss anything.

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