March 11, 1987
People who say conversation is a lost art do not have teenagers and telephones in their homes. To think that 19 years ago I was the one who held a receiver to my daughter’s mouth and said “say hello to grandma”! I should have known by the light in her eyes that I was in trouble.
My kids used telephones to communicate in other ways. They waited until I was talking to make a trip to the refrigerator or to start playing in the water in the bathroom. One of the first things all three learned was how to pull the jack out of the wall. That was a sure-fired way to get Mom’s attention.
We even helped develop their telephone expertise by purchasing play phones. Over the years they had a Fisher Price phone that rolled its eyes when we pulled it, a red desk-type model, a princess phone, a wall pay phone with play money and finally a two phone set that was actually an intercom.
But eventually, as with all substitutes, my kids decided they wanted to use the real thing. From then on my time on the phone was severely limited. If I wasn’t prying it out of my daughter’s hands, I was struggling for possession with my son.
At first calls were message oriented. “Come play at my house” was popular. But the calls lengthened to conversations about TV, music, friends and other subjects I’m sure I don’t want to know about. We now spend hours on the phone only taking short breaks for the necessities of life. The only battle I have won (and I feel this one was important) is the issue of long distance calls. You pay for your own!
Call-waiting was the greatest invention of all time in my estimation. At least I am now able to get a call through so I can beg someone to unload the dishwasher or turn on the oven. (You only request those things which can be done within the length of the phone cord.)
Of course, there is always more than one way to look at a situation. As long as the line rings busy, we know where our kids are!