Call Me Maybe Not: My Toddler Has Taken over My Phone

When parents complain about their daughters spending too much time talking on the phone they’re usually referring to teenagers. In my house, however, the problem has started much earlier.

My daughter is 3 and she’s never met a stranger on the telephone.

She talks to her grandparents, naturally, and her cousins who live out of town. She loves calling her dad at work and wonders why she can’t call her brother during the school day.

She’s even figured out how to call our home phone from my cell phone, which gives new meaning to that old horror movie line: “The call is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE.”

Our problems started last year when she accidentally dialed 911. Twice. The first pair of officers who showed up at my door was amused. The second? Notsomuch. Apparently toddler pranking is a thing now. (We apologized profusely, by the way.)

We thought the story was, you know, funny, and we may have, perhaps, repeated it. The repeating of the story just enforced the behavior and I know that we’re the ones to blame. Luckily, she hasn’t dialed 911 again (we have talked about the seriousness of emergency services ad nauseum and I truly believe that she understands), but she has discovered her love of chatting on the phone.

It’s gotten to the point where I cannot have a conversation without her throwing a temper tantrum if I don’t let her say hello. Have you ever tried resolving a customer service issue with a screaming toddler in the background? It’s not fun. Or productive. But it’s necessary since I can’t give in to every tantrum she throws.

It’s also gotten annoying to the people who call my house regularly.

Do you have this problem? How do you deal with it? I’d love to hear your tips— I’m desperate!

And everyone cross your fingers that the police don’t show up at our door again because of a rogue toddler with a telephone addiction.

Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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