|Photo by Billy Brown|
If you’ve called me and I haven’t responded, I’m sorry. I owe you an explanation. You see… I have three children (ages 7, 5, and 6-months), and calling people is really frustrating. It’s why parents text so much. However, this is problematic when communicating with my mother (who doesn’t text) or the utilities department. I try not to make personal calls at work, and when I’m home, there is so much interference. For example:
I was stupid enough to put Minecraft on my phone: Like an idiot, I put Minecraft on my phone, and now my 7-year-old thinks he owns it. The original plan was for Minecraft to act as a distraction when we went on long drives, or the doctor’s office. Now my son steals my phone and then locks himself in the bathroom. I have to assume that this will all happen again once my son finds out about masturbation.
Questions! Questions! Questions: There are two times when my children are most likely to ask questions. 1) When I’m using the toilet. 2) When I’m on the phone. The moment I answer the phone or drop my pants everyone wants’s a Popsicle. Telling my kids to wait until I’m off the phone is like telling a raccoon to sit. Most of my phone conversations have multiple interludes of, “Hold on. No. No. Why can’t you wait until I’m off the phone?” Followed by crying and a time out. I can only imagine what dragging one of my children into their room and slamming the door sounds like to someone from the utility department.
Lack of indoor voices: I pick up the phone and suddenly, somewhere, there is injustice. Someone is in someone’s seat, or someone stole a string cheese, or someone won’t pretend to be a unicorn…. Children fighting and screaming is the backdrop of my life. Sometimes, when I’m on the phone, I tell people I’m actually on the set of a zombie film just to make my life sound normal.
Baby’s eat phones: My 6-month-old is grabby. And she has a nasty grip. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been holding her while chatting with someone and she’s reached up, snatched the phone from my hand, and started eating it. The whole action is rude and barbaric and the reason my baby is the worst roommate ever.
I might swear: Here’s the situation. I don’t sleep much. I have a lot going on around me at all times. This has caused me to randomly blurt out swears. A few weeks ago I was on the phone, stepped on a Lego, and dropped an F-bomb. I didn’t mean it, naturally, but it came out, and I apologized, and explained, but the whole situation was embarrassing and I’d rather not relive it.
Sometimes I just want uninterrupted time with my children: I work a lot. And sometimes I have to work from home. I don’t get nearly as much time with my kids as I’d like, so when I am home, and I have free time, I like it to be uninterrupted. Sometimes I just turn my phone off and play hide and seek. Sometimes I put off a call for days because it’s just not as important as my children. I hope you understand.
Why haven’t you called people back?
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Clint Edwards was blessed with a charming and spitfire wife, a video game obsessed little boy, a snarky little girl in a Cinderella play dress, and an angry baby girl. When Clint was 9-years-old his father left. With no example of fatherhood, he had to learn how to be a father and husband through trial and error. His work has been featured in Good Morning America, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, Fast Company, and elsewhere. He lives in Oregon. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.