Like so many parents today, from time to time I can be heard lamenting how my child is so much more techno-savvy than I. She knows much more about my cell phone’s capabilities than I will ever care to. Every so often, she changes some settings on it, just to keep things fresh.
During one of those freshening sessions, she decided I needed a more interesting ringtone than the default one. I told her she could choose something for me. She did better than that — she and her friend, Roxie, created my own personal “your phone’s ringing” alert. In the form of a recorded voice message. I told her that would be fine. Then I forgot about it.
Nearly 100% of the time, my phone is on vibrate while I’m at work. But then there’s that other minuscule percentage of time when the ringer is on, maximum volume. As it was recently when I was wrapping up a session with two parents and a child, LG’s age. We had been talking about the importance of maintaining age-appropriate boundaries within the family. The child had been treating her parents as peers — in terms of name-calling, cursing at them, telling them what to do, etc. — mostly because the parents usually acted her age. I thought we’d made significant progress in the hour. Then my phone “rang.” Except it wasn’t exactly a “ring.”
Nope. It was LG. Yelling at me. Her recorded “ringtone” was her shouting, “YO, MAMA! Telephone! Pick it up! I said PICK. IT. UP. Answer your phone, WOMAN!” And in the background, Roxie was hip-hop chanting, “Pick it up, YEA! Yo, pick it up! Pick it up!”
Ohdeargod. I had half-listened to it when LG and Roxie were playing around with it, but I’d never heard the final product, didn’t know it had been designated as my new ringtone. I scrambled to dig the damned thing out of my purse, trying not to look at the widening eyes of all three clients. When I finally found it, I quickly muted it, and apologized for the interruption. The tween client said, “Who was THAT?”
I sheepishly explained, being emphatic that “it was a JOKE,” and both my daughter and I knew that; my daughter would not speak to me that way in normal conversation . . .yadda yadda yadda.
Not sure they bought it.