My children and I have discussed on numerous occasions that they should not call me while I am at work unless it is urgent.
My definition would include:
1. Broken bones
2. At least a pop can full of blood loss
3. Any injury involving a sharp object that is still embedded in the body - particularly the eye
4. The removal of an appendage
And frankly in all these cases, they either should be on their way to the hospital before they call me, or have already called 911.
Their definition of urgency:
1. A splinter
2. A scratch that would take a nuclear microscope to see
3. Inviting a friend over for a sleepover.
4. Asking what we are having for dinner
5. Asking if tonight when I get home if I will drive them to the local grocery store to rent a video game.
Zayd needs to talk to me at work today. The sitter - who DID have an important question to ask me - called - and then gave the phone to Zayd.
Zayd: Hello! Hello! (he says in a sing-songy joyful voice).
Zayd: Uh... Hi. (pause). Mom?
How is it that he is questioning whether it is me or not on the phone, since clearly the original contact came from his end, not mine.
Me: Yes Zayd.
Zayd: So... I have a little tiny question to ask you...
Me: Yes Zayd.
Zayd: Uhm.. okay. So... (pause) Wow! This phone is really loud!
I take a deep breath to oxygenate my patience.
Zayd: Uhm... (his voice goes down to a whisper)... uhm... are you still there mom?
Me: I'm here Zayd. Go ahead.
Zayd: Oh! Good! Okay then... so... uhm... I wanted to know if you talked to dad about me getting an email account?
Ah yes... let's add email to our list of urgent discussions....
Me: No honey - I haven't talked to dad yet.
Sensing extreme disappointment I say:
Me: But thank you for reminding me. Why don't you remind me again tonight and we'll sit down and talk it over.
Zayd: Okay! Uhm... do you think you can put it on your calendar?
Zayd: Will you put it on your calendar so it's scheduled?
Me: You want me to put the email discussion on my calendar?
I consider this for a moment.
My 10-year-old son is scheduling an appointment with me to discuss the urgent matter of obtaining an email account. On the one hand - very professional. And on the same hand - he knows me too well. If it isn't on my calendar it does not exist. Part of this is my ADD (although I have never been formally diagnosed - I am certain that I would respond to medication)... part of it is the fact that I am juggling too many tasks at once.
I am overwhelmed by guilt.
Because my son knows he needs to schedule an appointment with me in order for me to remember to talk to his dad about the urgent matter of obtaining an email account.
Me: Zayd - yes. That is a great idea. I will put it on my calendar to remind myself to talk to dad.
Zayd: Oh! Thanks mom!
Zayd: Oh and mom? I love you mom.
With all my faults? Thank goodness...
Me: I love you too.