Because to date, when I see that it’s one of my spawn ringing in, I have to get my mind right before answering the call. First, I blink 5 times, slowly. I breathe in… I breathe out. I stretch my neck to the left. I stretch my neck to the right.
I consider all the possible reasons the spawn would choose to CALL rather than TEXT (which is the norm). A phone call gives me no time to devise my reply to whatever ridiculous non-urgent problem she is currently having that can’t be resolved via text.
Then, I close my eyes and tilt my head up to the sky…hoping that powers greater than me will take mercy on my ragged soul and make the fucking phone stop ringing. By this time, it usually does stop. And I pray that they’ll just leave me a message. And, I start to believe that God really does give a shit about me.
Then, the follow-up-call ringing commences. No message. Just more goddamned ringing.
Maybe my child has been kidnapped by a murderous bandito and is calling from the trunk of a 1985 Ford Ltd with no way to kick the taillights out and wave her hand through the hole to flag down help from concerned passersby! And the 9 and 1 buttons on her phone don't work!
OR… My child was just in a car accident and is trapped inside the car which is only seconds from exploding into smithereens!
OR… There’s an active shooter at the school!
OR… My child has been car jacked and left stranded in the middle of nowhere with wolves (NOT of the Huge Jackman variety) salivating near her while her phone is about to die and this is the last call she will ever make before she’s torn to shreds!
Fire, blood, and gory death flash before my eyes and I start to hyperventilate.
So, frantically, I answer the phone, cursing myself for being such a fucking selfish, crappy excuse for a mother. My child is obviously in mortal danger! What the fuck is wrong with me!?
Me: Hello? Are you ok?
Tallest Spawn: cry/screaming and blowing out my eardrum: Moooom! Why aren’t you answering your phone? I’m like freaking out over here!
Me: Uhm! I just answered! What in the world is wrong?!
Tallest Spawn: sobbing uncontrollably: My car won’t start! I’m freaking out! Oh my god! What do I do?!
Me: Really? You’re crying uncontrollably about your car not starting?
Tallest Spawn: YES! Mom! You don’t understand! I’m like freaking out over here!
Me: Obviously. Where are you? Are you safe?
Tallest Spawn: Well, I had to like go to Walgreen’s. So, like I went in to buy stuff, and when I got back in my car, it was fine! So, I drove to the gas station to put gas in it for the week. I put the gas in, but then I like tried to start it, but it like won’t even start or anything! I’ve been trying like for 10 minutes or maybe longer!
Me: So, you’re safe. Did you call your Dad?
Tallest Spawn: hic-crying now: I don’t know if I’m safe, Mom! There’s a sketchy guy here that keeps staring at me! I’m so scared, Mom! Like, what do I do?! Dad won’t answer his phone, either! Why don’t ya’ll ever answer your phones?!
Me: First of all, calm your tits. If there’s a sketchy guy there, then go into the store.
Tallest Spawn: And just leave my car here??
Me: Yeah! It’s at the damn pump, right?! It ain’t going anywhere if it won’t start! I’ll send your dad over there to help.
This is the point at which I normally lose my shit. First of all, none of the disturbing near-death scenarios are playing out like my brain told me they would. Second of all, CAR DRAMA. Thirdly, WTF?!
I think Hubber could sense that I was about to grab a knife and stab a mofo if he didn’t quickly get his ass (and every other living being in my vicinity) the fuck out.
While he was gone, I had an adult beverage to calm my nerves. When he got back, I hesitantly listened to how shit went down at the gas station.
Hubber pulled up behind our helpless little spawn’s car at the gas station. She sprinted out from the store to meet him.
Hubber: Where’s the sketchy guy?
Tallest Spawn: pointing: Over there, Daddy! See him?
Hubber: The guy changing the bags out of the trash cans?!
Tallest Spawn: Is that what he’s doing?
Hubber: YES! He fucking works here!
Tallest Spawn: Oh. My bad. But, Daddy! He kept like staring at me!
Hubber: He’s probably wondering why you’re bawling your eyes out over here like a crazy person!
Tallest Spawn: I’m sorry!!! But, I didn’t know what to do!!
Hubber: Did you check that you used the right key? Did you check the battery like I showed you? If so, remember that Insurance app I told you to download onto your phone? It has roadside assistance! Why is your first reaction to always freak out and drive your mom to drink?!
Hubber: Give me your keys.
Hubber got in the car, put the key in the ignition. And would you know it…the fucking car started right up!
Tallest Spawn: Daddy! I swear it wouldn’t start!! Why don’t you believe me!? You never believe me! Why do you hate me?! I hate my life! Why does this stuff always happen to ME?!
My point here is that usually, when the phone RINGS and the call is coming from one of my children, it is usually NOT a fucking emergency. It’s usually some bullshit crap story that makes my right eye twitch, my fists clench, and my brain scream. 9 times out of 10, this is how shit goes down:
That being said, though… I do appreciate her decision to give me a heads-up text rather than repeated, frantic, and aneurysm-inducing phone calls where I have no clue what the fuck is happening. I hate going in blind, ya’ll! Momma needs prep time.
Another plus is that she "also just texted dad"! That pretty much means I'm off the hook entirely.