Fun With the Phone

My nine-year old daughter has started using the phone. A lot. We’re not at teenage standards, by any means. But, she does like to chat. A lot of times she calls her Dad. But, other times, she calls friends. And she won’t hang up. Yesterday, she called a friend to try to set up a play date. The friend’s mom answered. My daughter proceeded to have a 10 minute conversation with the mom before asking to talk to the friend. And then the planning began. Who would play where? When? Then, as I rushed her off the phone so we could leave for their school open house, she told her friend to call her tomorrow, so they could coordinate.

The actual phone conversation is not as amusing as what happens while she is on the phone. My daughter has inherited this awful trait her father and I both have: pacing. When she’s on the phone, that girl could run a marathon. She walks and walks and walks. And she does it at an amazing speed. She grabs the phone and she’s off. She’ll have made it downstairs and back again before she’s completed a sentence. It’s kind of amusing and dizzying to watch.

Another quirk I am successfully breaking her of (lets hope!) is the repeat call. I’ve caught her dialing a number, letting it ring and ring and ring. Then, she hangs up and dials again. Thank God she doesn’t know about redial yet. I’ve explained this is obnoxious and we don’t partake in stalker like behavior. My children are well aware of the word “obnoxious.” It’s used rather often to define behavior I don’t find appealing. Poking your sister incessantly: obnoxious. Acting out the Family Guy promo where Stewie says “Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom” until Lois finally screams “WHAT?!” and Stewie responds “Hi”: obnoxious. Slamming the keys of the baby piano that I, for some reason, retrieved from storage  (Brilliant Mom Idea): obnoxious.

And yet another obnoxious phone behavior? The repeat use of speaker phone. I hate hate hate being on speaker phone. It drives me nuts! Lets examine a typical speaker phone conversation:

Person 1: “Hey, how are you?”

Person 2 (the dummy who has person 1 on speaker phone because they are just too darn lazy to actually put the phone up to their ear): “I’m cool. What’s (indecipherable words for the next 10 seconds or so….) PAUSE.”

Person 1: “What? I couldn’t hear what you said.”

Person 2: “Yeah. (Shuffling sounds) I was saying (more things you can’t understand for another 10 seconds.) Isn’t that funny, man?”

Person 1: “Wait, what’s funny? I couldn’t hear what you said.”

Person 2: “Dude. She was like (mumbling, some noise off in the distance. Wait, is that a zipper and water sounds?) and I said no way.”

Person 1: “Am I on speaker phone?”

Person 2: “Let me call you back when I get out of the bathroom.”


Okay, so does that explain my disdain for speaker phone? My daughter doesn’t actually take the phone into the bathroom. That I know of… But, she does walk around with it. And, this morning, she shoved the cell phone (on speaker) into the speaker of my car. All her Dad could hear was the local country station. Say it with me now… Obnoxious.

To review the rules of phone etiquette I’m attempting to teach my children:

1. Calling and not hanging up is not okay.

2. Pacing should be contained to a 5k.

3. Repeat Calling is harassment.

4. Speaker phone (especially while in the bathroom) is obnoxious.

5. Making the other person on the line listen to anything else in the background  (music, TV, etc.) is rude.

What am I missing? What phone etiquette are you teaching your kids? And, do people still have their kids answer the phone “Jones residence” or something along those lines?

I’m sure I’m going to have to tell my kids some day soon the same thing my mom told me at that age: “Don’t tell the person on the line that Mommy’s going poop. Tell them I’m busy.”


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kalleyc
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 11:57:24

    I’m so glad my daughter cannot reach the phone yet. The times that I have left the phone in her reach she called my brother, my mother, and grandmother. Managed to put the phone on speaker, and proceeded to have a conversation that neither I nor the person on the other line knew what she was talking about.

    As for the speaker phone thing, that’s me *bows head in shame.* I won’t go so far to use it in the bathroom, but if you call me you’re going on speaker. I need to keep my hands free so that I can run after my daughter. I DO clip the phone to me and make sure there is nothing on in the background though…aside from my daughter playing. But it’s close enough to me so that you can hear me very well.


  2. Momx5kidz
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 17:38:30

    First off, my kids were not allowed to use (or answer) the phone until age 13. Unless, I call the person, Grandma, Aunt, etc., If a play date needs to be set, I speak to the parent and we arrange it. And, when they reach “phone priivalege” age, they have 5 minutes. When they can afford their own cell phone…talk away…just not in my face, thank you very much. : )

    Second, speaker phones are absolutely “OBNOXIOUS” !!! 🙂 If someone calls me on speaker phone, and it is not a conference call, I ask them to call me back when they have time to call me AND hold the phone. Sounds mean…but I might not want the entire household (or office they are calling me from) to hear every word I am saying. If they dont call back…oh well…must not have been that important, right?


  3. Trackback: Playing Telephone | Mom Land

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