Talking on the phone is incredibly difficult when you have kids.
As a contractor I work from home 90% of the time. Of course this gives me the flexibility of doing school drop off and pick up so I do acknowledge I am blessed to be able to do so. That said, clients don’t give two proverbial poo’s that I have spawn so I need to keep them quiet when I’m on the phone…and that simple proposition is incredibly difficult.
I’ve trained my kids with the “What do we do when Mum’s on the phone?” question and the answer by all three is “we keep quiet”. When they answer that question in triplicate I foolishly believe them and invariably answer the call. This always turns into a stressful situation – trying to focus on my client’s needs while covering the speaker with my hand to ‘shssssssssh’ my kids. The quiet only ever lasts for 5 seconds and then the farcical stage whispering starts;
”Muuuuuum, Molly/Mac/Memphis just stuck her tongue out at me, Muuuuuuuuuum, I’m being quiet but can we go to the park when you stop talking? Muuuum, can i have some fruit please? Have a treat? ooooooh, she did a pop off YUCK I’m dying etc…”
Honestly, their version of stage whispering is like Donald Trump speaking – at once both ridiculous and anger inducing.
I have friends that hide in pantry cupboards, put their heads out of car windows (car parked obviously, we’re not law breakers) apply gaffa tape , bribe, make crazy facial expressions, lock kids inside the house while they’re standing in the rain, cajole, fake sickness and threaten just to be able to talk on a damned phone.
There’s an enormous difference when you’re talking to other parents on the phone. It’s perfectly acceptable to have a sentence interspersed with;
BE QUIET – MUM’S ON THE PHONE!
WIPE YOUR BUM/FLUSH THE TOILET/WASH YOUR HANDS
ALRIGHT, THAT’S IT – NO PLAYDATE/TREAT/FOOTBALL/GYMNASTICS/IPAD/BREATHING FOR THE NEXT WEEK!”
You can say all of this while maintaining a meaningful conversation about wine and your constant almost desperate need for it…especially when you’re on the phone.