Posted by: Modern Mom | May 1, 2012

While Mommy’s on the Phone

Have you ever noticed that the phone has magical powers? It does. It turns my children into monsters. I didn’t say they were good magical powers.

My boys were playing nicely. Quietly even. It was sublime. Then, because I work from home and this happens frequently, my phone rang. I answered it. It was a client, so I said, “Of course I have time, let me get to my computer.” Which, in kid-ese, meant that they would then have complete and total freedom from the wrath of mom until the phone call was done.

Insert magical powers here.

The moment I sit down at the computer and start talking business, the children morph into sub-human lifeforms with ear-splitting cries and crazy eyes. They start attacking one another. One has a toy. The other has to have it. I ignore this and hope that the person I’m speaking to doesn’t notice the blood curdling screaming. Is it possible?

Modern Boy, the informant, comes to tattle on his brother for taking a toy from him. It’s a toy that Modern Boy has cast aside and long forgotten, but now that his little brother has an interest in it, it is the coolest thing on Earth, bar none. He simply must have it, and he’s throwing a full on fit for not getting it. I gesture at him to be quiet and go away, also gesturing a reminder that mommy is on the phone.

He goes back downstairs and I hear the battle take up again. I start speaking faster. The boys start banging, loudly, on something. I don’t know what. I figure I’ll find out soon enough. The dog is barking. I speed up even more. I’m probably sounding like an auctioneer on cocaine right about now. The sooner I can wrap up this call, the better.

I hear a loud thud. Then crying. Great, they really are trying to kill each other. I can tell from the crying that the injury is probably not life threatening. I don’t dare get up to check on them until this call is over. I would hate for the person on the other end to know that I have monsters in my house. They probably don’t have monsters in their house. I’m pretty sure this is a freak thing that no other parent has ever experienced. No? Still, it’s not exactly what you want to hear on the other end of a phone while you’re trying to do business.

Then, something happens. It gets quiet. Really quiet. You might, if you don’t have young kids, think that’s a good thing. But that’s never a good thing. Especially with boys. Now it’s serious. The monsters are probably doing something really bad. Preparing a ritual sacrifice, perhaps? Oh no. The oldest is probably preparing the youngest for sacrifice!

I panic. I quickly wrap up my call and hang up, preparing myself for the scene when I arrive downstairs.

Much to my surprise I don’t enter the room to find a war scene or a ritual sacrifice. I discover my boys sitting quietly, together, “fixing cars”. They had their Matchbox cars spread on the plastic work bench and a myriad of plastic tools gathered around them. What had happened to cause this amazing transformation from the monsters they were just minutes ago, to these angelic boys I saw before me? Oh right. I got off the phone.


*OK, so I know that other parents have this same issue, and it’s to be expected when you work from home with small kids at home. There’s just something about that phone that makes the world turn upside down. Am I right?


  1. WORKING from home isn’t a necessity for that to happen…it happens with ANY phone call in my home. Luckily for me, anyone who calls me knows that I am constantly surrounded by monsters! πŸ™‚


    • Isn’t that the truth? There’s something about the phone. And I love talking on the phone with other mamas because we all understand. πŸ™‚


  2. Love this and totally empathize! My little fella, if not playing up, desperately wants to get the phone off me to talk on it. Great photo – where did you get it from?


  3. […] while my children are awake. So I was on the phone. Again. You might remember that my phone has magical powers to turn my children into monsters […]


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