Hewwo, Mifter Tewemawketeh!

I used to keep the phones up high to prevent Kiddo#2, then about two, from answering. She was the most verbal child I’ve known, and she liked talking on play phones. She would also sometimes pick up the real phone to blather at it.

“If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and dial again.”
“…hello daddy hello mommy hello it’s me hello how are you doing…”
“If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and dial again.”
“…how are you doing hello 5-5-5-1-2-1-2 hello daddy”

And so on until I would liberate the phone and allow the poor recorded operator to go get a throat losenge.

Aside: back when Kiddo#1 learned phone manners, I was on the phone all the time trying to coordinate care for Emily Rose. I spoke to doctors, funeral homes, therapists, the midwives, the genetic counselor, and on and on and on. He would start picking up his toy phones and saying into them “Geeneeback EBK” which it took a few weeks for me to realize was what he always heard me doing on the phone: I’d say my name and then spell my last name.

So on this bright morning about five years ago, I was busy in the kitchen and Kiddo#2 was playing in the living room when the phone rang. In the middle of something, I figured I’d let it roll to our answering machine. No message was left, and I put it out of my head: telemarketer.

About five minutes later, I went into the living room, and no Kiddo#2. Odd. I went further, and she’s playing in her room. And then I turned my head.

On my bed, there was the phone off the hook. I hadn’t put it up high. 

She must have answered it. Imagine:

“Hello! This is Brandi of MegaRipoff Faux Charity, and I’m selling tickets for the policeman’s ball.”
“hello mommy hello mommy hi mommy daddy it’s me hello i’m fine”
“Uh…can I speak to your mommy?”
“i’m fine hello mommy hello grandma hi grandma hello hello uh-huh hello”

Most telemarketers aren’t allowed to hang up if the person they called is still speaking to them. My daughter may have trapped someone on the phone for as long as she kept babbling into it, over and over, while someone tried to either get her to put Dad on the phone or give over a credit card number.

And although I’m evil and can’t say the telemarketing industry doesn’t deserve that sort of treatment, I still got a giggle out of it.

If you’re the person who called, I’m terribly terribly sorry.

I’m laughing at you, but I’m still terribly sorry. I didn’t let it happen again.


  1. whiskers

    I believe I once called a friend of my father’s…in California…for about nine minutes.

    You had it good!!


  2. ivyreisner

    Customer service isn’t either, which leads to such fun.

    “That looks like it fixed it. Thanks.”
    “Great, so is there something else I can do for you?”
    “No. That’s it.”
    (Weird pause)
    “And you have control of your computer now. So it looks like you’re set.”
    (Weird pause)
    “Do you want to hear about the latest version of the product?”
    “That’s okay. We’re just waiting on approval to install it.”
    “Oh good.”
    (Weird pause)

    It took forever to realize they had the phone on speaker and were counting on me ending the call, so they wouldn’t have to press the button to hang up. These days, I cheat. If the client says “goodbye” I take that in lieu of actually hanging up.

  3. Cricket

    Way to go Kiddo#2! I’ve got to try that one myself.

  4. Carolyn

    You have a great blog here, I must say. And I must share — I learned to spell my complicated Polish last name by overhearing my mother place catalog orders on the phone with “the Sears lady”. So think of the leg up you’ve given to Kiddo#1! 🙂

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