Hanging on the telephone

After months of trying to get Declan to talk to relatives over the telephone, he’s finally just recently begun to comprehend what it is that a phone really does. For months, he would listen without speaking. Then he started speaking without listening. Now he seems to understand that what looks like any ordinary inanimate object is, in fact, a tool to have a conversation with all the wise, weird and interesting people in his life.

I spent quite a bit of time out of the house for work and family errands this week, so we had some of our first mother-son phone conversations when I called to check in.

He told me about going to the library with his daddy and looking at books about meerkats, then eating lunch outside and searching for the monkey bush. He recited some of his favorite mantras, including “we live on Earth” and “Jupiter’s red spot doesn’t make any sense.” And every time I called, whether I had been gone for an hour or seven, he asked me where I was and when I was coming home.

On Friday, we spent the morning alone together while Dan took care of some things in the outside world. Around noon, the phone rang and Declan lunged for it.

“Daddy?” he said. Pause. “It’s daddy!”

Long pause.

“Yes. I’m happy ’cause I’m home with mommy.”


“Yes, mommy’s a good boy.”

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