As I have mentioned before, I have an 8-year-old son named Patrick. Although he is only eight, I am afraid we have entered a new phase in his life. It’s called Patrick the Babe Magnet!!!! At the last day of school, one of his girl classmates asked him for his phone number. I must have been very tired that day, because I gave her my work number. Well, school was out for about a week when I get a call on my work phone one morning. I answered the phone, “ABC Company, JoAnn Williams speaking.” then I hear this little girl’s voice say, “Who?” I reply back with “JoAnn…Williams…at ABC Company” the girl replies back, “Is Patrick there?” I answer “No, I am at work and Patrick is not here.” The girl asks “Could you have Patrick call me?” I reply, “Not right now, because I am at WORK.” Then I ask “Is this the phone number he should call you at 999-555-1234?” She says yes and I tell her that I will give him the message tonight and we say goodbye.
I was very blown away for a few reasons. First, I can’t believe this girl didn’t hang up when I answered the phone stating my company name. When I was her age I would have hung up right away. Actually, I wouldn’t have ever called a boy’s house at this age. Second, I can’t get it through my head that my son has a little girl calling him. This is all new to me. I have an 11-year-old daughter that hasn’t gotten into calling boys. Heck, she doesn’t even call her friends that are girls. So I really wasn’t expecting this to happen to my son. I am not ready for this to happen yet.
So I go home that night and tell Patrick that his friend Miley called me at work. I was hoping he would say “Yuck, I don’t want to talk to her.” Instead, he says “Can I call her? Let me have your phone.” So I give him the phone number and he calls Miley on my cell phone, because we don’t have a landline phone anymore. Well, no one answers the phone, so as he is standing there with the phone away from his ear, I am asking him “Did she answer?” and he is telling me, “No, it said to leave a message.” So my husband and I are yelling at him, “Then leave a message.” He left a message, but who knows if any of it was recorded before the voicemail disconnected. He comes back in the kitchen about 3 minutes later and says he wants to try calling Miley again. My husband tells him no, but I hand Patrick my cell phone while I explain to Frank that his first message was probably cut off. The call goes to voicemail again, but this time he leaves a message to have her call him back on my cell phone number.
Miley didn’t call Patrick back that night; however, I got a call from her the next morning on my cell phone while I was at work!!! I had her phone number programmed in my phone to indicate Miley’s Mom, yet when she called me during work I still answered the phone. I don’t know why I didn’t just send her call to voicemail. The conversation was pretty much a repeat from the day before. “Is Patrick there.” she asks, “No” I say. “Could you have him call me?” she asks, and then I tell her that I am at work and he is at the babysitter and that I won’t see him until tonight. I tell her that it will be sometime after 6:00pm before he can talk to her. Then we say goodbye. The problem is, I don’t think this little girl was listening to half the things I said.
So as I am walking out to my car around 6:00pm my phone rings and my display shows “Miley’s Mom”. I say to myself “Oh, Hell No!” and I send the call to my voicemail. Two minutes later she calls me again, which I send to voicemail again. When I get home I tell Patrick that his friend has called me three times today and ask him to tell her not to call him during the daytime, because his mom works. Patrick calls Miley and this time he actually reaches her. I have to tell you that listening to them chat about nothing is pretty ridiculous. But what the worst part is hearing my son’s voice change to a sweeter little voice while he is talking to her. I’ve heard that voice before, but it’s been a long time. It’s the voice that use to say “Mommy I love you”. The voice I get these days is a loud bellow or scream that says things like “Mmmmmooooommmm, I need you.” or “I want …..” (you can fill in the blank there with anything from a food item to a trampoline to money to going someplace.) In fact, I told him one day to try to get through supper without saying “I want” and he could not do it. He just changed his phrase to “Patrick wants”. I must say that hearing him refer to himself as a secondary person was more irritating than hearing him say “I want”.
Anyway, Patrick was walking around laughing and talking to his “girl” friend and I am wondering if I will ever get my phone back. He quickly discovered that it’s not easy to have a phone conversation in our house. This is a fact that I learned a long time ago. He walked from room to room saying “What? Just a second, I can’t hear you.” I sort of found a little bit of sweet justice being served, since Patrick is normally one of the first of my kids to be practically on top of me when I am talking to someone on the phone. I finally told him to go into the kitchen to talk to her. So while he is in the kitchen asking Miley what her dog is doing now, my husband and I are sitting in the living room with the little kids playing and his big sister Marie is watching TV in the bedroom. Then I have an idea and I tell him husband, “Frank, go take a picture of Patrick talking to his girlfriend.” So he gets up and sneaks over to the kitchen doorway and snaps a picture of Patrick on the phone with his “girl” friend.
I just wanted him to take the photo to tease Patrick with later. But what does my husband do? He takes the photo and posts it on his Facebook page with a caption of “My son Patrick, talking to his girlfriend on the phone”. This photo is pretty priceless. There’s Patrick, leaning up against my kitchen counter with my microwave in the background, he’s head slightly tilted toward the “pink” cell phone at his ear, with his free hand tucked under his opposite armpit with a grin on his face. Looking at it gives me a variety of emotions; laughter, joy, fear, disgust and a bit sick to my stomach. Laughter because my son is acting the way I would have acted when I was young and liked someone. Joy, because Patrick is my one child that will shy away and tell me he doesn’t know how to make friends. Fear, because I am not ready to enter this stage in his life. Disgust, because I am seeing a side of him that I have not seen from him, in our household, in a long time. Sickness, because his is acting like a love-sick puppy and he is WAY TOO YOUNG to be in “love” yet. And also because the girl he is talking to is the one that has caused him to get in trouble at school before. I think to myself “God help me!”
Well, by now, my oldest daughter has walked into the living room to see why my husband and I are laughing. So my husband shows Marie the post on Facebook and before I have a chance to stop her she is running to the kitchen, singing “Patrick has a girlfriend.” By the time she enters the kitchen, Patrick is telling Miley to hold on. Next thing I know, Patrick is trying to hit Marie with something and Marie is squealing. I am yelling from the living room for Marie to leave him alone. Because, if you recall, Patrick is using MY cell phone and I can just picture him throwing the phone at her in anger. Hey, I have to look out for my stuff! Finally, Marie leaves him alone and Patrick is asking Miley to speak to her brother. ‘Why?’ Her brother is in Kindergarten and my son is in 2nd grade. What would he possibly want to speak to him about? By now, I am yelling to him to wrap it up. I want my phone back before it gets destroyed.
Then my husband starts hollering to Patrick to come here. He is telling him to bring the phone to me so I can speak to Miley’s mom about a play date. I am telling Frank that I don’t want to speak to her mom, he can talk to her. So Patrick is walking toward me, asking Miley to put her mom on the phone so his mom could speak to her. I am telling him I don’t want to talk to anyone, as he is handing the phone to me. Oh, did I mention that my son had put the phone on speaker phone? Yeah, so as I am saying hello to the other mother I am trying to take the phone off of speaker and end up hanging up on her. I start cussing, my son is yelling to call her back, Marie is asking what happened and my husband is teasing me about hanging up on Patrick’s “girl” friend’s mom.
In order to keep my son from having a conniption fit, I am trying to call the other mother back, but the phone line is busy. I tried again, while I am telling my kids to shut up, and I finally get her back on the phone. Yet, it is not the mom that answers the phone… it’s Miley! I ask to speak to her mother and then apologize to the woman for hanging up on her. I explain that I was taking the phone off of speaker phone when I pushed the wrong button. She laughs and says she understands. Then I ask her if she is okay with Patrick and Miley having a play day “at her house”. I mention that any weekend would be fine for Patrick to come to “their house”. She says she is okay with it and we try to narrow down a time. Then she tells me that Patrick is welcome to come to the movies with Miley and Lily tomorrow afternoon to see the movie Epic. I explain to her that it would be a bad idea, because he will be at the babysitter all day and his big sister would have a fit if she didn’t get to go also. She says she totally understands. We plan to talk again to pick a time for the play date and then Patrick asks to talk to Miley for just a minute.
I am sure you might not agree with my philosophy on the sibling thing, but I have come to the conclusion that if all of them can’t do something, than none of them do it. It makes life easier for me. With the exception of things like events that have an age limits or if it is an all girls or boys event. Just recently we made it a rule in our house that if one of the kids have a birthday party invitation and it is at a person’s house I will ask the parents if the siblings could come too. But if the party is at a place like Chuck E Cheese, where the parents have to pay by the number of participants, then only the child invited is allowed to go.
Anyway, Patrick spoke to Miley for a little bit longer and then I was able to get him to hang up and give me my phone back. We have not had a chance for the play date yet, there have been too many things going on for both of our families. And thankfully I have not gotten another call having someone asking “Is Patrick there.” Plus Patrick has not asked me if he could call Miley recently. Thank God for small favors.