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Phoney Promises

Phoney Promises

by Greg on July 6, 2012

Any parent: “Do you need anything?”

Every child: No.

“Anything at all? A stapler? A pair of scissors? A clothespin? What about that paper airplane you floated onto the roof last week?”


“Are you hungry?”


“Not even a little bit?”


“So you don’t need so much as a raisin, a peanut, or a cheese cracker?”


“Are you set on drinks? How about some water or maybe some juice just in case?”


“Are there any present emergencies or potential emergencies that might befall you in the next 20 minutes?”


“Do you need to go to the bathroom?”


“Are you going to fight with your brother? And you…are you going to fight with your sister?


“Is there anything, anything at all, in this entire expansive universe that you might need and not currently have that could possibly prevent me from making this phone call without so much as a peep of interruption?”


“Are you going to whisper to me as I talk because you believe a suppressed interruption isn’t an interruption at all?”


“Are you going to hop in place and use hand signals that only you and taxiing airline pilots can understand?”


“Are you going to get up from the couch?”


“Even if it’s on fire?”


“What if our home is being swallowed by a massive sinkhole?”


“Okay, here I go. Look! Look at me…see this? I’m dialing. You can even hear the phone pad beep as I press each of these little buttons. Hear that? Only two numbers left to go…so last warning…does anyone need anything before I finish dialing?”


{*ring ring*} {*ring ring*}


“Hi there! It’s Greg. I finally have a few minutes to talk and just wanted to…”




Valerie July 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm

This also happens whenever I lock the bathroom door. Every. Friggin. Time. Then they sit down and try to squeeze under the door. Yes. You read that right.

Maybe I should have them checked out for that last part… However, they could be trying to become shapeshifters. I don’t want to hinder their growth either.

… Maybe I’ll just pee with the door open. The terrorists just won.



Tracy July 7, 2012 at 7:00 pm

I hear you!!!! I haven’t peed alone in 3 years. At least during the day. And they seem to see a locked door as a challenge not a deterrent. If they can’t get in, it just means they have to yell louder.

Valerie July 8, 2012 at 7:16 am

One day my kids will learn how to pick that lock… then I’m doomed!!!

Meg July 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Oh ya, I have given up trying to converse on the phone. It’s gotten to the point where I tell people, I don’t *like* to talk on the phone. For so long I couldn’t carry on a conversation, that now I don’t want to, or don’t know how to anymore. >.<

James July 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Yup… Same here. Though replace hand signals with half naked barbies that have to have a costume change RIGHT NOW and you have my house.

Jennifavor July 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm

My son takes part in the conversation after repeatedly asking, “Who are you talking to!?!?!” He’s only hearing my part of the conversation, and let’s be honest, he’s not listening all that well to what he CAN hear. So, when he adds his 2 cents to whatever my conversation is about, it rarely makes sense, but when it does, he’s usually explaining why I’m wrong and how it affected him or how unfair it is to blame him. Because, we all know that my mother taking my grandmother to get her hair cut is a crisis that somehow is being blamed on my son and he MUST defend himself!

sue July 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm

That’s my life. Every. Day. 🙂 Good thing they’re cute.

Danielle July 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I don’t actually use the phone anymore. I use the internets…it’s all I have left that they can’t touch.

Patti July 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Even my dogs do it!!

Wallaby July 6, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I suspect that Jennifavor’s kid went to the same school as mine. I can spend a whole day where my boys want nothing to do with me. As soon as l pick up a phone I am suddenly ten times more interesting than the Dos Equis guy.

Stephenie July 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Ain’t it da troof! Sigh.

Karen July 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm

My mother used to do the snap and point while she was on the phone, if we were trying to interrupt her.

WilyGuy July 6, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Yeah, no matter how much preparation you’ve done, kids will push that button every time.


Alice July 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Tonight we discovered that our bedroom door can appear to be locked while not actually being locked. You’d think they could have survived…they were supposed to be sleeping…sigh.

Dorothy Gardner July 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm

My best friends’ daughter started doing this as soon as she could talk, and continues now, as a 22 year old! It’s pretty funny.

Vanessa July 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm

LOL I have the same problem. They either start yelling about something or they are so silent that I become paranoid and catch them eating all the sweets in the house. I can never win!

Tracy July 7, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Ahhhh yes…”Bad quiet”. I think dread that more than the inevitable tantrum while I am on the phone. Bad quiet usually means I should find out where they are and bring the paper towels!

Deb K July 8, 2012 at 4:52 am

I have a friend whose mother would be equipped with a wooden spoon whenever she made a phone call. She would shake the spoon furiously whenever she was threatened to be interrupted and apparently this worked as a deterrent. Of course if she had actually used the spoon she might be accused of child abuse by today’s standards….

Kelly July 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Story of my life right there. Oddly enough, in our house dad is immune to this curse and allowed to have lengthy uninterrupted phone conversations. I’m not so lucky.

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