Vertically challenged, full-time mama of two children; a boy and a girl. Wife to a husband who knows me too well. Past work experience includes interactive marketing, public relations, and teaching. Self-proclaimed worrier and over-thinker. Loves the sun, cookies & cream ice cream, and lounging on the couch with a good foodie magazine.

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Telephone Syndrome

I regret to inform you that all children suffer from a serious disorder.  Your children may be currently exhibiting symptoms.  There is no known cause or cure, but it is prevalent across the country.  If you are a mother, you may be familiar with something I like to call TS: Telephone Syndrome.

Telephone

It usually doesn’t rear its ugly head until three or four years old, but I’ve heard of it occurring earlier in some.  Symptoms only occur while you are on the phone and can include: whining, screaming, crying, or misbehaving in any way.

The amazing thing about this disorder is that it can strike at any time.  Your child could be quietly coloring or playing calmly, but once the phone rings and you answer it, his or her demeanor will immediately change.  This change is akin to a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of situation.  It will make you want to scream, but since you would be talking on the phone, this is next to impossible to do.  Kids are so darn smart.

Just today, the phone rang and it was a friend I hadn’t spoken with in a long time.  One minute my preschooler is coloring like a little angel and the next he is hiding Easter chocolates in the dining room and trying to secretly eat them.  You may be smart, kid, but not THAT smart.

My favorite is when you are speaking with the dentist’s office or a company that has put you on hold for twenty hours.  You finally have a live person on the other end and the moment they are on the line, loud screaming, singing, or crying will ensue.  I always wonder if people are curious about what is happening on the other end or if this syndrome is prevalent throughout neighborhoods across the land.  I’m hoping that I’m not the only one.

I can remember being eight or nine years old and my younger brother and I were running around the house while my mom was on the phone.  We were probably being loud and disruptive and this was before the days of cordless phones, so she could only go as far as the cord would let her.  I recall running through the family room chasing my brother and knocking over the Christmas tree.  My mom was thrilled.  As the tree toppled over, my brother and I both sprinted to our rooms and awaited our fate.  Once the phone call ended, our mother came to scold us, though I don’t remember what happened afterwards.  We all survived and the tree got put back together.

So, it seems that this syndrome is nothing new and there is still no vaccine for it.  I cannot believe that doctors aren’t working on a cure for this terrible malady.

In the meantime, mothers will just have to take matters into their own hands.

Do you have any accounts of Telephone Syndrome?

 

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Comments (2)

  1. Sisifo 04/27/2011 at 10:31 pm

    While I’m sorry to hear that your children have TS as well, it gives me some comfort to know my hellions… I mean children have it as well. And while I haven’t tried it yet, I’ve heard duct tape is a great cure…
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  2. Erica Fehrman 04/27/2011 at 8:49 am

    My kids suffer from this syndrome, too. Once I was on the phone, getting nowhere with the credit card people over a discrepancy. I stood right next to my screaming kid and told the cc manager that I’d just hang out with him all afternoon. He got tired of the noise and time pretty quickly and refunded the erroneous fee. HA!