Not long ago, Mike got a new phone system in our house that makes working from home easier for him. One of the features of the system is that the phones intercom each other–a convenient thing when you need to ask a quick question from upstairs or downstairs and don’t want to yell.
My daughter thinks it’s a great feature too, and has had fun calling from room to room.
Especially at bed-time.
The other night, literally one minute after Mike and I put the kids to bed, we heard the intercom…
Beep. Beep. Beep.
I picked up the phone.
“Mommy?” My daughter said. “Can I have some warm milk?”
“No, Honey. It’s late. You haven’t even tried to get to sleep yet.”
“You already had dinner and brushed your teeth. It’s time for bed.” I went to hang up the phone.
“Wait, Mommy. If I have crackers, do I have to brush my teeth again?”
“You can’t have crackers.”
“But I’m starving.”
I knew I should stand firm. I knew it. But against my better judgment, I started to waver.
Maybe she’s going through a growth spurt, I thought. Maybe she should have a little snack…
“All right,” I said reluctantly, guiltily aware of the fact that I was teaching her if she bugged me long enough, I’d give in. “You can have an apple.”
“What about quesadillas?”
“No!” I’d just caved and offered her a snack, and now she was getting picky? “No quesadillas. It’s bed-time. I’m hanging up the phone and I’m bringing you some apples.”
“Okay. But, Mommy?” she said in her sweetest voice possible.
“Can you please cook me some bacon?”
“NO! I’m not making bacon. It’s nine o’clock! What do you think this is? Room service?”
Cute little laugh. “Yeah.”
I know I should’ve stopped the conversation right there. Or given her a consequence. Or done something to discourage her behavior. But, blame it on being at that delirious parental breaking point where, like it or not, you’re either going to laugh or cry, I started cracking up.
I laughed, then she laughed, until we both laughed so hard we couldn’t stop.
“Well, it’s not,” I finally managed, catching my breath.
“Okay,” she said, still giggling.
“Listen.” I tried to sound firm. “I’ll cut you some strawberries if you don’t want apples. Then you need to go to sleep.”
“Okay. I’ll have strawberries.”
“And Mommy?” she said.
“While you’re at it, can you make me some warm milk?”…
I don’t think these intercoms are such a handy feature after all.