Note: This post is part of Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs, where all the cool kids are hanging out. (Moms are welcome over there!) I *might* even have a column called “Teen Angst” there. Welcome to my visitors from DB; thanks for stopping in!
I have *finally* figured it out.
My kids, like so many other teenagers (and frankly, some adults!), are terrible at giving me phone messages. It is totally annoying to find out, sometimes days later, that someone called for me when I wasn’t home, especially if they asked for me to return the call.
I tried telling the kids to avoid answering the phone at all if they weren’t going to write down and/or give me a message. They took that advice for the most part when the caller ID shows a name that they don’t recognize, but for grandparents or other adults they are familiar with, they answer. And then don’t write it down. And then don’t remember to tell me.
The other day, I returned home from where ever I was (doesn’t matter, does it?) and went about my business around the house. The phone rang; it was my mom.
I answered, and she said, “Did the bigger boy tell you that I called?”
“Hold on for a second…” I told her. And then I yelled for him. “HEY! OLDER BOY! DID SOMEBODY CALL FOR ME THIS MORNING???”
I heard his reaction from the basement. “AUGH! Yes…I’m sorry!”
And then, it hit me. Pure genius.
“Come here, please!”
He came up the stairs and I held out the phone to him. He was going to have to explain himself to Grandma.
He took the phone from me and spoke with her. The italics indicate what I imagine my mom was saying to him:
“You didn’t tell your mom I called?”
“No. I’m sorry.”
“What if it was an emergency?”
“Uh, then you probably would have told me that it was an emergency?”
“You better start giving your mom her phone messages, Buster Brown.”
“I know…I’m sorry.”
He finished apologizing, handed me the phone, and sheepishly went back to the basement.
I figure it’ll only take another two or three times of having to do this before the lesson sinks in for good. I’ll keep you posted.