As much as I hate that I feel this way, this summer is dragging…. normally I love summer. LUVVV summer. The oppressive heat. The piercing sunshine. The smell of chlorinated pools. Bring it on! But this summer, juggling all six kids alone all day every day (one still a newborn) has led to considerably less enthusiasm for hot summer days and long summer nights. Looong summer nights…
So I’ll admit I’ve been somewhat… cranky at times. Maybe most of the time. I’ve had more trouble than usual finding the humor and pep in it all- sleep deprivation will do that to a girl. But despite my crankiness, the kids have managed to maintain their usual liveliness (read: screaming, jumping, spilling, etc.).
Normally, I’m in the mix with them. Well, not jumping on the furniture. Or running. But dancing? Yup. Laughing? Definitely. Willing to play jokes on one another?
YES. Soooo yes.
I come from a family that demonstrates love by basically tormenting each other, in a totally humorous way, of course. We express our adoration for our fellow family members in the form of fake lawyer’s letters, toilet papering each other’s doorways, and other demented, disturbing methods of familial torture.
So its no wonder that my kids have grown up accustomed to this sort of tomfoolery. And the pathetic part is, I’m the one laughing even harder than the kids. Call is a stress-reliever, maybe. Like the time that I took our leftover green-dyed St. Paddy’s breakfast pancakes and flung them at the back of any unsuspecting child’s head, declaring that the leprechauns were doing it.
For an hour.
Or the time I discreetly barked up the stairs several times while the kids were in bed, and they insisted that there was a strange dog “woofing” them.
There hasn’t been nearly as much of that fun lately, because Mommy’s drained and cranky. But the other night, inspiration struck. The eldest is at that age where she LOVES being on the phone. And insists on answering the phone when it rings, knocking any and all debris, including small children, out of her path when springing to get it.
Post-dinner, pre-bedtime. You know from earlier posts how that goes. I’m in that “wanting to sit on the couch for five seconds” stage, but am instead folding laundry in the basement. With my iPhone nearby. Reminiscing about my lost youth, and how my friends and I had so much fun…
Crank calling. All. The.Time.
This was back in the olden days, before Caller ID ruined everything. We’d hover around my friend’s table on the outdoor porch, giggling and annoying the hell out of the random recipients that were unfortunate enough to pick up when we called.
It was fun.
So I decided, because I love my kids so much, to mess with them. So I blocked my iPhone’s number, dialed the house phone, and already started giggling at the sound of my eldest scrambling upstairs to get it.
#1: “Hello, — residence; how can I help you?” (For real. She really answers like my personal receptionist.)
Me: (snort… muffled giggle) “I think you took my towel at the pool. And I want it back!”
#1: “Who is this??”
Me: “This is Jane. My towel- you took it, & I need you to mail it back, or.. I’M TELLING.”
Not only does #1 not know a Jane, but she didn’t take a towel. But no matter. She tried hanging up on “Jane”, who called back… once “Jane” could speak again after crying tears of hysterical laughter silently into the folded laundry, to muffle the sounds of glee.
#1’s curiosity got the better of her; she needed to know what was going to happen, so kept picking up the phone. After a few feeble protests, Eldest proceeded to copy down a fictitious address in which to mail the stolen towel to. And ran down to tell me all about it, to find me slumped over the laundry, snorting and cackling.
Crank calling- the common cure for crankiness.
Lest you feel bad for #1; less than 10 minutes later, my iPhone rang. The ID was our house number. I picked it up, & heard:
(giggle, giggle, snort) “Hi, this is Jane…”
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