I’ve been working on a post about last weekend’s hot and sticky 20 mile training run. And as much as I’ve wanted to tell you about it, it’s going to have to wait because what I’d like you to do now is ask me how much my phone bill was last month.

Go ahead.

Oh, my phone bill? Thanks for asking; why, five hundred and forty-five dollars, I believe. You heard me. Five HUNDRED and forty-five actual American dollars.

You’re wondering how this possibly could have happened. I was wondering how this could have happened. But as with most snafus around this place, the answer is simple: blame the children. In this case, two children in particular; Eldest Son and Girl Drama.

Eldest Son likes to play this game and it is called, “call my friends and try to set up a daily sleep-over and if mom says no, call each other back and forth with new reasons to badger her until she gives up and says fine, already! or, barring that, to commiserate with each other over what an ogre she is.” This necessitates -at the bare minimum- six phone calls per fifteen minute interval.

Girl Drama was the game changer. Equipped with a new, comprehensive list of her friends’ phone numbers, she spent every minute of her available time working her way through the rotation having scintillating conversations such as the following;

“Ohmigod! I so loved your Jonas tee-shirt today! Awesome! Call me back in three minutes, bye!”

This went on over and over until I got home from work, apparently. It seems that Miss Teen Wonder What the Heck you Were Thinking Letting your Siblings Be on the Phone every Waking Minute, was just happy that she wasn’t being called upon to interact with her younger sisters and brothers in any capacity, so their dysfunctional phone dependence was working well for her.

She is NEVER getting allowance again.

Sure, let the dog talk, too. At this point, it doesn’t even matter.

To really grasp these children’s’ commitment to my total financial ruin, you have to remember that Girl Drama is in Summer school. She’s only able to monopolize the phone for three and a half hours a day. My friend and I did the math; compensating for the fact that our phone calls are unlimited evenings and weekends, a child was on the phone in this house one out of every four daytime minutes. Yet, somehow, rarely do they have the time to, say, clean their rooms or weed the garden. Curious.

Of course I hit the roof. It was as if a grenade of screechy, borderline hysterical mom-isms went off in this place;
“Do you think money grows on trees?”
“What were you thinking?!”
“You are NINE. YEARS. OLD. What could you possibly have to say that is worth FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS?!!!!”

Then, to really drive home my point, I made a comprehensive list of the things I would rather have spent five hundred and forty five dollars on than cell phone minutes:
Anything else.

It’s so disheartening. We have to be very vigilant to keep this family of seven on good financial standing. I won’t spend the extra seventy cents on brand name cereal, for Pete’s sake, and five hundred dollars -poof!- gone. Just like that.

Good thing we cancelled the landline to save $39 a month, huh? Oh, that just makes my stomach hurt.

The Rise & Fall of a Momocracy

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