Does Your Kid Know What a Flash Button is?


My kids love to stay home alone. This is in part because they don’t want to go places with me like grocery and drug stores but also in part because they enjoy the independence and the quiet. I understand and respect this so I allow them their freedom with just a few rules in place.

  • No swimming
  • Do not answer the door for anyone
  • Answer the home phone, it’s how I’ll reach them

I had a zillion errands to do before the kids went to camp so I left Jane and Alexander home alone. I gave him a call from the grocery store to find out what he wanted and the phone rang and rang some more. No one answered and no machine went on. I called again, nothing. The phone must be off the hook. It happens, right?

I’m a little annoyed and need to run another errand which is unexpected so I call Alexander’s cell phone which he also does not answer. I call Jane’s cell phone and ask her why no one is answering the home phone. She explains to me that Alexander is on the phone with Daddy. “Ive been calling.” I say and she offers nothing as an explanation. The phone didn’t ring, he’s on with Daddy.

I get home an hour later and I’m not mad yet, but agitated. Clearly my son saw that I was calling and chose to not answer the phone. I ask him why he’s so disrespectful. I ask him why he didn’t answer when I called.

He looks at me innocently and clearly doesn’t comprehend my simmering anger. “The phone only rang once, it was Dad and I talked to him.”

“Didn’t you hear me calling?” The simmer is turning into a boil.


“You didn’t hear clicking or beeping while you were on the phone with Daddy?”

“I did but I thought the phone was breaking.”

“That’s call waiting. I was calling you.”

“What’s call waiting?”

I start to explain and then sigh. No one in this house will ever use the telephone to talk to people if they can avoid it. So I explain call waiting recognizing that it has almost as much value as telling him why we call remote controls clickers.

Tech Talk Tuesday: Phones Play and Apps


Okay guys, I’m going on a Mommy Blogging bent for Tech Talk Tuesday.

Telephones: Do not give up your land line. I know we all love our cell phones, but you absolutely must not give up your land line because you won’t have 911. E911 is the service associated with you cell phone and with VOIP. E911 does not go to your nearest police station, poison control or firehouse.

My cell phone’s 911 sends me to the California Highway Patrol. I’m in Los Angeles, talking to a dispatcher as far away as Eureka will not help me in an emergency.

E911 does not have a record of your address. What if you can’t talk? What if a baby sitter can’t recall? What if you stutter because you’re nervous.

Moms, do not give up your land line, if only for 911.

Places to Play: My kids love playing games on the Internet. Club Penguin is a no brainer as is Guess who I trust? No one. Invest in laptops and a wireless router, when you cook dinner, they can have some screen time AND you can be in the same room with them.

My tween is outgrowing being in the same room as I am. Get a mac (we have two) and install the Leopard Operating System. Leopard is the best friend a mother has. I monitor her computer from mine, give her specific times of day the computer can be on and even a time allotment per day that varies from weekday to weekend.

Apps: If you have an iPhone and a sense of humor you must get Nag Mobile (just 99 cents). Next week I’m launching a contest where the best video use of Nag wins something (working on sponsors for that right now). The Baby Activity Logger is wonderful for the alpha mom who needs to monitor baby’s intake or just for the tech mom who enjoys the organization. Don’t forget there’s Whrrl, which is a free iPhone download and makes social media fun and safe for moms and kids.

Ooh also. Go on over there and vote for me as the most provocative blogger.
2009 BlogLuxe Awards
Mostly because I’m too competitive.