Last week we got our 10 1/2 year old daughter a cell phone. (If you don’t say the 1/2 part, she gets really mad!) Thanks to that, I now want to throw MY cell phone through a wall. Not because I am jealous that she has a better phone than I do…even though she does..damn you great deal when you add a new line…but because she texts me non-stop. That child texts me so much that I cringe when I hear my phone go off, and I had to give her a separate text alert sound so I could differentiate between her and my friends, who might actually have something important to tell me…as opposed to her.
Now before you start rolling your eyes and thinking “Why would you get your 10 1/2 year old a cell phone?”, let me explain. We did not just hand her a phone for no reason. She had to completely earn it. We made a deal with her back in September: She had to get straight A’s for the entire year, and she had to show responsibility by not misplacing her I-Pod at all. (Plus she is getting to that age where she isn’t at my side all the time, so it’s handy.) She kept up her end of the deal, so we kept up ours….and now it is coming back to haunt me…just about every 5-10 minutes of my life.
Here are some examples of what I get to read when I hear that ominous tone chime on my phone:
*Mom, thank u for getting me a phone. I <3 U!!!xoxo Ok – This was her very 1st text to me, so it made me smile. After that it all went downhill…fast. (By the way, her very first actual call HAD TO be to her father. Of course it did. Sigh.)
*Mom, I need my hula hoop right now! This gem came a mere 10 minutes after I dropped her off at school…even though I had just asked her before we left if she was going to need said hula hoop…and she said no.
* Where r u? I get this constantly. I usually get this 2-3 times while I am driving to pick her up at her friend’s house. (Thank God for text to talk!) More often than not though, the answer is “downstairs”. We don’t live in a mansion, so I don’t know how she thinks she will lose me in “the other wing of the house”, but whatever.
* I am almost there! Wow, am I glad she only had her phone for the last 3 days of school, because this is the text I got for the entire bus ride home. Literally stop by stop! It’s her little version of the play-by-play of her life. Meanwhile, I was already sitting at the bus-stop for like 10 minutes.
*This movie is great! U have to see it! I’ll go again, and not spoil it for u. Promise! She sent me this when she went to see Madagascar 3 yesterday. I told her she wasn’t supposed to use her phone in the theater, but the movie was SO GOOD that I just HAD TO know.
* Hi!!! Just another reason to use her phone. She has said “Hi!!” to me more in the past week than she has in perhaps her entire existence on this planet. If I had $1 for every “Hi!!!” I’ve gotten, I could probably buy myself something pretty decent.
*What r u doing? Maybe she thinks I’m doing something spectacular when I am not within her field of vision. I’m not. I really want to answer “Cringing because I just heard that friggin’ chime go off AGAIN!”, but I just answer with “Nothing. Just waiting for a text from you! ” I always have to follow that up with “What r u doing?” and she usually replies, “Nothing. Just texting you!” Sometimes she puts cute little hearts in there too, which makes it impossible to get mad at. She’s a smart cookie.
* K. This is where I had to speak to her. My daughter LOVES to send the answer “K” to my responses. When she asks me anything and I respond, this is what I get back in return…whether it applies or not. She was even responding “K” to my “K”. I had to explain to her that when I say “K”, she does not need to respond with “K”. It means “I got it and the conversation is over on my end!”…therefore she does NOT need to let me know that she too is done responding! She’s not really listening to me on that one yet. Maybe if I text it to her, she’ll get it.
Aside from her numerous texts, I also get lots of pictures that she takes…like close ups of my dog’s nose with “Isn’t he the cutest???” written under it…or pictures of her toes correctly labeled “My Toes!!!! ” God Bless this child and her new phone. I don’t know how she has lived this long without it, or how I have made it through my days without Instagram pictures from my own little Ansel Adams.
What I do know is her getting a cell phone is just another little piece of her “little girl-ness” evaporating. I think starting today, I will smile everytime that ominous chime goes off on my phone, because before I know it texting her friends will be a thousand times more fun than texting her mom is… and thought of that makes me cringe more than hearing that text alert tone ever will.
In case you haven’t had the pleasure, this is my husband’s dog, Rory. I should say our dog, but if I did, I would be lying. He’s only mine by proxy or that 5% of the day that he needs something…otherwise, he’s my husband’s dog.
I have to say that it kind of pisses me off. Everyone always says “He has a face only a mother could love!”, and I suppose so…unfortunately, he saves all of his love for Daddy – and sometimes my daughter. It cracks me up, because who picked him out of the litter? Me! He was the biggest and cutest of the pups. I thought maybe this dog would be “mine”, unlike the last one, but noooo. He apparently does not remember that it was me who picked him up out of that crate of puppies and claimed him to be the newest member of our clan. It was me who went through baby books to find a name that suited him…Rory: Irish for “The Red King”. Yep, none of that matters…because I am a second class citizen, according to him.
Here’s a quick list of times I actually rate high on his scale in life:
1. When I put my fork down to signal I am done with dinner. Oh yeah, it is at that exact moment that I am aces. He jumps up, puts his head on my lap (or tries to crawl up) and stares at me with his “Mommy, you’re the best…please feed me” face. As soon as I put his bowl on the floor, he growls for me to get lost. Sigh…
2. When he needs to go out, who does he come to? That’s right, me! He strolls right past my husband (even if he is standing next to the door holding the handle) to find me. Apparently I am the only one magical enough to let him out back.
3. When he is sick, who’s his nurse-maid? If you said “Me“, you are right. Any little thing that’s off kilter with this giant hound and suddenly he has a flashback from the crate and his first hug and kiss. As soon as he is better though, it’s see ya sister! (I am also very good at extracting him out from under the bench at the vet…since it falls under being sick, I can list it here)
4. Short and sweet – if he needs his back scratched in a spot he can’t reach or his ears massaged, I’m his girl.
5. There is no number 5. I’ve obviously only got 4 good uses working in my favor.
Now, when it comes to my husband it’s nothing but love. Not just love…an obsessive love that actually leads to frequent panic attcks if he strays more than 2 feet from him. He cannot even go outside for a minute without Rory doing sprints through my house – door to door to door – trying to figure out how life can be so cruel and they could possibly be apart for more than 10 seconds. Then the crying starts…it’s unbelievable. One day when he went out somewhere, Rory vaulted his gigantic self up onto my kitchen counter (Yes, all 4 legs were up there) to see if his keys and phone were gone! I kid you not, and so wish I had gotten a picture of that move! This is the same dog that would help me pack my bags if I was leaving…and maybe even scrounge up a little extra gas money for me too.
When my husband watches TV, this 147 lb dog HAS TO have his giant self on the arm of his chair like a poodle. The 2 inch rule is in full effect..any more space than that would be unacceptable. Meanwhile, his giant body takes up the rest of the couch, leaving me about 1/4, if I’m lucky. If I try to move him, he turns into Sir Growls A Lot. He needs a lot of space to stare lovingly at my husband for hours.
…laying by the front door, awaiting the moment that Daddy returns and all is right in his world again. Actually he usually has his nose about an inch from the door, but as you can see we got a delivery that day and awful me couldn’t move those heavy boxes out of his way. I’m sure it was just another strike against me.
Oh, I do need to tell you the chaos that ensues when my husband does stroll back through that door. Rory will joyfully run in place for a good five minutes and emit sounds that can only be described as “scream whimpering”. Do you know what he does when I stroll through the door? He looks PAST me for my husband. If he isn’t with me, Rory looks back at me with visable disappointment and goes right back to staring past me as if trying to magically will his Daddy to appear. It does wonders for the ego.
So now you know. If you see us somewhere, please don’t say “Wow, your dog is cute!” because the correct phrase would be “Wow, your husband’s dog is cute!”. Just don’t use the phrase “Daddy” because it will lead to yet another panic attack.