You can text, Facebook message or email, but whatever you do, please do not call me.
Just the other day, I had all nine of my kiddos settled nicely in the house, some were working on educational computer games, one was reading a book, the littlest ones were watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, the baby was busy playing with toys, and the teens were doing whatever was keeping them busy. And it was unusually serene.
A rare moment.
But, I had fed them, provided individual drinks, the house was nice and clean, and all of the children's needs had been met. I made sure of it. I was gearing up to write a blog post, so I had purposely - and personally - ensured that everyone had been attended to. I thought I had earned at least fifteen minutes, maybe a half an hour, to myself.
The chime of the phone did not disturb the tranquil environment, as it usually does, confirming my assumption that I had tended to their needs. As I conversed with the lady on the other end of the line, I watched in amazement how my brood remained motionless.
The Phone Call Storm did not seem likely to rear its ugly head.
Sometimes, it seems to come from nowhere.
You know those sunny and breezy, yet temperate days that are so perfect, the beach is the only place fitting to spend the day? You are sipping on your choice of beverage, feeling the warm, soft sand run through your toes, inhaling the salty air, and aware of the tingle of your skin as the rays of the sun soak into it. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, ominous and somber, heavy clouds blow in - on the ocean, this can happen within moments!
The Phone Call Storm happens just like that.
I don't think that I made it even thirty seconds into the chat before the baby was at my feet. She's like a puppy now, crawling up to me. Then up on her knees, hands outstretched up to me. Way too cute.
Now, I have her in my hands, and that would be okay if only she would stop trying to yank the phone receiver from my hand and tugging on the phone cord (yes, I was on a phone with a cord!). Then, the 4-year-old starts putting his feet on the 2-year old, the 6-year-old and 8-year old start squabbling, and the baby gets more adamant about me giving her the phone.
That was that one particular day. Other days, a couple of the kids might decide that it was time to play human race car, zooming around the house with obnoxiously loud engines. Or someone will feel compelled to play a tune on the piano. Or run the vacuum cleaner. Or jump from the couch to the table and bump their head.
Children make other similar stupid decisions while they think you aren't paying attention, and then someone always ends up screaming or crying.
They think this is the perfect time to tell me whatever is on their minds, too. Or tattle-tale. Or just need me. For some mysterious reason.
They are not persnickety about who they interrupt rudely, either. Listen, you could be the President of the United States, Mr. Obama himself. It doesn't matter. It's the Phone Call Storm. It doesn't care who is in its wake. Sometimes, it is a hurricane. Other times, it is a tornado. Once in a while, I am lucky enough for it to be a lower level tropical storm. Regardless, it's a mess.
If you see me running around the house, from room to room, ducking and dodging into closets and the bathroom shower, don't worry. I'm just trying to escape the children and chat on my cell phone. It's the embarrassing truth! I have literally ducked around the house, flitting in and out of rooms, then out to the garage and even scurried down the sidewalk to avoid the hurricane during important phone calls.
You can't escape it. So, why try?
If you call me. chances are, I will spend the next five hours admidst a whirlwind of a storm that is instigated by the sound of a ringtone. A phone call focuses my attention outside of the house, and that is never okay.
Then again, maybe that isn't what causes the storm. Because, I can text and email and all of that, but, God Forbid, I start conversing with someone on the telephone! All you-know-what is just bound to break loose! It's a frustrating phenomenon.
The bottom line is: It would really be better if you just didn't call me. Seriously, just text me. Send me an email if you have more to say. Or message me on Facebook or send me a Tweet. Just, please don't call me.
It's not that I don't want to talk to you. I truly do. I feel strongly that voice to voice communication, when you can hear a person's tone of voice on the other end of the phone, is crucial. But...
I just want to be able to make it through my day without being forced to endure the Phone Call Storm, and there is only one surefire way to avoid the hurricane - or tornado, or cyclone, or whatever you want to call it.
The only quick fix that I have found, to date, is to stay off the phone.
Let me know if you come up with a better resolution.