Thursday, July 22, 2010
Miss Yakity Yak
The minute she walked in the house from camp today, Daughter picked up the phone to call her best friend. The best friend wasn't at camp today and Daughter needed to know if she was okay. Also, because Daughter's almost eleven she suddenly wants to be this thing - this Girl Who Talks On The Phone (is she copying me?) and so she's trying her best to monopolize it.
So she calls unsuccessfully but later the best friend calls back. Over the course of the next half hour this is what I see: I see her laying on my bed, talking to the phone laying next to her on speaker; I see her laying upside down on her bed the same way; I see her sitting on the computer reading her best friend her emails; I see her wheeling around the house on the office chair, talking; and, finally, I see Daughter marching around the house, following me, her finger on the mute button, asking me for some ideas of what they should talk about. Apparently there now was dead silence on the phone call.
I say, "If you're done talking, why don't you just get off?" But, of course, that just proves how old I've gotten and the fact that I forgot how important it is to monopolize the telephone.
She gives me a look like I'm nuts and keeps holding the mute button down. "Mom! I want to keep talking! We just don't have anything to talk about!"
Okay. That makes sense.
In my house growing up there were seven daughters and our one mother all vying for not only one phone line, but for one actual telephone. It sat on the wall of our kitchen with a cord that had probably been about six feet originally but had been pulled and tugged by us all over the house until it was actually flattened and stretched to about thirty feet.
There was just this one phone, then, for all the boys in the world to call and ask out all my sisters on dates and then, afterwards, for all my sisters' girlfriends to call to discuss those same boys. Being one of the younger sisters, I had low priority with the phone. If I wanted to sit on the phone with no purpose at all, like Daughter was doing, the phone would have been hung up for me and confiscated.
But I'm helpful if nothing else. I glance quickly at the newspaper. "How about Justin Bieber?"
"Mom," she shakes her head, "We're so over him."
The phone calls ends unexpectedly. The line goes dead suddenly. When Daughter calls her friend to see what happened the friend says during one of the silences she just fell asleep. On top of the phone.
And with that I finally hear the words, "Okay, bye."
Have your kids become obsessed with talking on the phone or did they ever do this? Do they sit in dead silence for hours just to stay on? Do you remember any "phone battles" from your childhood?
Do you think that kids get their phone behavior from their parents?