5 Stages Of Answering A Phone Call When You Have Kids

by Sarah Cottrell

In motherhood the simplest tasks become laborious pains in the derriere. Eating dinner becomes an opportunity for a food fight between your baby’s fist and his mouth. Making a bed turns into an epic WWF wrestling match. Grey hairs sprout forth during the daily battle for bedtime. And simply answering a phone call will inevitably bring out your inner crazy bitch.

My phone is on silent at all times now because when it rings my kids lose their minds and start screaming, fighting, breaking stuff, and in general create total mayhem. I’d like to say that I am kidding or even embellishing, but I’m not. My kids turn into assholes when I am on the phone.


And I’m guessing that yours do too. Let’s take a closer look at the five stages of answering a phone call so that you can see what I mean.

Stage One: The Phone Rings

You can’t find the phone, so you whisper-yell to everyone to hush so you can follow the weird vibrating hum to the kitchen where it is hidden under a stack of bills. The kids’ eyes take on a look that says don’t you dare pay attention to not-me, lady! I will do crazy shit! I will be loud! I will interrupt you 23 times! I swear!

Stage Two: Answering The Phone

Panic sets in and desperation must be showing on your face because you immediately bribe your kids with promises of candy, more TV, that toy that you chucked to the way back top of the refrigerator to live in purgatory in exchange for nice and quiet behavior for 5 minutes while Mommy takes a quick phone call. Your kids sense weakness. They plan their first strike.


Stage Three: Owl Eyes

“Oh, Hi! Sure, I have a minute…” No bigger lie has ever been uttered by any mom on a phone. There is no minute. Children can’t wait a full minute before one of them suddenly has to pee, must be naked, starts screaming in siren noises while chasing a sibling, or immediately has an absolute urgent need to tell the person on the other end of the phone line all about his awesome ninja moves.

So you furrow your brow, widen yours eyes, and purse your lips. You look like a scary fucking owl. You mean to look like you mean business, but your kids start laughing at you.

You realize you’re screwed.

Stage Four: Whisper-Screaming

Fifty-seven seconds into your free minute of time, your brilliant tots decide to raid the fridge and drop and entire shelf of jars from the fridge door onto the floor. That’s when you start whisper-screaming in their general direction to GO SIT DOWN THIS INSTANT! They ignore you. So you come back with, I MEAN IT! DO NOT MAKE ME HANG UP THIS PHONE! They found the stash of juice boxes. One of them steps in mustard.

Stage Five: Emergency Exit Strategy

Sure, it’s been a full minute now and your phone call is basically ruined. Your blood is boiling hot and you cannot believe that your marvelous little shits just ignored you, broke some house rules, and are forcing you to contort your face and whisper-scream like a crazy person.

You tell the person you are talking to that you have to go. You make excuses. You promise to call them right back.

You hang up.

And then you chuck that damn phone back to the pile of bills on the kitchen counter and hope to God that you don’t make the mistake of ever answering it in the presence of children again.