Alexander and the phone

Alexander likes to answer the phone. As soon as it rings, he runs to it. Recently he had a long but incomprehensible conversation with a dentist, who was ringing to ask about making false teeth for my mother. The dentist seemed to enjoy the conversation.

The phone rang soon after breakfast this morning, and Alexander was there in seconds.


A pause.


I try to reach the phone, but he runs away. “Alexander is talking,” he says clearly.

Perla joins the chase. I wonder who might be ringing. It’s still early, which suggests it might be an emergency. Perhaps somebody has died. Perhaps my mother’s had a fall. A person filled with grief might be upset by a child answering the phone. A person reporting an emergency might be angry.

Eventually I grab the phone. Alexander starts to scream. Perhaps ninety seconds have passed since the phone first rang.

It turns out to be a call from Bangladesh, from Loretta, whom I work with. She’s a grandmother and amused not irritated. We grandparents are learning every day, but not as fast as our grandchildren are learning.



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