Wednesday, August 11, 2004


My kids have begun to take an interest in the telephone in recent months--I mean beyond starting a whining campaign when they notice that I'm talking into it. The three year old "answered" it once--that is, she picked it up when it rang and then breathed into the receiver for a few minutes. Luckily, the caller figured it out and told her to come get me, which she did. The seven year old has started placing calls herself.

Actually, it's become a fad. All the kids in the neighborhood--well, all the cool kids, the ones that aren't babies (literally)--have become enamored of the telephone. Nobody knows anything about phone etiquette, of course. You'll answer the phone and a high pitched voice will demand "who's this?" They never identify themselves unless asked, and boy do I need to ask. They all sound the same to me, boys and girls alike. My seven year old just called from the neighbor's and I had to ask her to tell me who she was.

It could be just me. Mommy lore says that mommies always can pick out their babies' cries from the crowd. Not me. Any creature that made noise at the pitch of a baby's cry was my baby. Countless times I startled awake, certain that the baby was wailing, only to figure out that a neighborhood dog was the culprit. Daddies don't seem to have this problem, or maybe they're just better at sound identification.


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