Mostly Dead All Day: A Tale of the World’s Worst Phone

Notes from the Shallow End

It was a quiet day. Nothing out of the ordinary was happening. I was doing some writing; the dog was licking his own nether regions. You know, the usual.

First, let me say I am always near a phone. I have three kids, and one of my fears is that something will happen to one of them at school, and the school won’t be able to reach me. I’m usually at home during the day, and if I’m out, I have my cell phone with me. Otherwise it’s turned off to save the battery.

But then, somehow my plan went to pieces. My kid got hurt and the school couldn’t reach me.

We have been having problems with the downstairs cordless phone, in that it won’t hold a charge for more than about a minute.  Conversations on it often go like this:

Person: Hello?

Me: Hi, it’s Lisa. I was just calling about the… hello? Hello? Aaaaaggh! Stupid phone!

So most of the time, the phone is nearly dead.  We’re talking gather the relatives, because it’s on life support. And sometimes it’s completely dead.  That means a mad dash up the stairs to grab the second floor handset phone every time it rings. Because it only rings four times before it goes to voice mail. (All of these years and I’ve never been able to figure out to change that. Time Warner, I’m looking at you!)) So I was typing away downstairs, enjoying a delicious second cup of coffee, when the phone rang. By the time I got upstairs, I had missed the call.

“Oh well,” I thought. “If it’s important they’ll leave a voice mail.” And I returned to my hot coffee downstairs. Priorities, right?

But when the phone rang again five minutes later, something told me I should move faster to answer it. I sprinted up the stairs two at a time and grabbed it on the last ring. And Thank God I did. It was my husband, calling to tell me that the school had just called him. It seems my son had fallen, cut his head open on a metal coat hook, and was bleeding profusely. They thought he needed stitches.  My husband, I should mention, was out of town on business.

So my husband, who was in Orlando, had to call me in Ohio to tell me to go to school and pick up my son. And I should mention that the only reason the school was able to reach him is that his morning meeting had been pushed back, otherwise his phone would have been turned off.

The good news is that my son is fine. He got to have a Popsicle in the school office, and when I brought him home and washed the blood off (head wounds… gaaahhhh!) it didn’t look as bad as we thought. He got to spend the rest of the day wearing his jammies and robe, snuggled with me on the couch.

So, phone? You’ve been unreliable for way too long. I hate to tell you this, but you’re fired. Pack up your things and security will escort you out. I’ll be shopping for your  replacement this weekend, because the school couldn’t reach me in an emergency and that is a feeling I never, ever want to have again.



  1. I’m familiar with the sprint for the phone. I have 3 on the first floor and one in my bedroom. I swear those things never end up where they’re supposed to be because I go running all over to find one before the ringing stops!!

    Glad your kiddo’s ok. I bet he’ll have a sore noggin!!

    • “Where’s the phone?!” “Why isn’t the phone on the charger?!!” “Someone better find the phone!!!” are all familiar refrains in my house. And any day we can avoid going to the ER is a good day, believe me.

  2. Ya know, you kind of got me here. I ONLY have a cell phone and I turn the ringer off for things like doctor’s appointments and then forget to turn it back on ALL THE TIME. I shudder to think how guilty I woulda felt if this had happened to me. But you were ON IT! Way to go, mom.

  3. This is when I think someone is looking out for us (I am not religious!). I get so nervous about stuff like this too. I also hate that when the school calls you practically have a stroke. Can they just once in a while call to tell you how amazing a mom you are?

    • Ugh, you’re right. Once, just once, I would like to get a positive call from the school. As it is, when the phone rings and it’s the school I freak out. Every. Time.

  4. I don’t know why your blog hasn’t been showing up in my feed for the last couple of weeks. I’ve missed some good stuff.
    My cell phone had the same problem of no battery life. One day, I took the kids to track practice, but when we got there, one kid didn’t get out of the car. Seems I left him at home. (It’s a 30 minute drive to practice) I checked my phone…dead. I grabbed a co-coach’s phone and called home. The 9 year old answered, “Mommy?” He had tried to call right away, but my phone was dead.
    Guess who got a new phone that week? (So the next time I left that same child at home, I would know much sooner. (Yes, I did leave him at home a second time.))
    I’m glad no stitches were required and all is well.
    I’ve still been voting for you in Blogger Idol. You’re doing great!

    • Bwahahaha! I’d have gotten a new phone too, that is hilarious! Whenever I do something like that, my kids gleefully hold it over my head forever. Thanks for voting, I certainly appreciate it!

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