Son enjoys pushing buttons

Published 12:05 am Friday, January 21, 2011

If you have been trying to phone me at home and received a busy signal, I apologize. My son has been making a few calls.

I didn’t think the battle for the phone with Gibson would start so early. But it seems my son likes to punch buttons.

These days there are a lot of buttons in our house. Between the kitchen appliances, the laptop computer, cell phones and other pieces of technology, Gibson knows where every keypad and keyboard in the house is located.

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The buttons on our cordless phones happen to be the most accessible to our little one. Perhaps five cordless phones are a few more than necessary for a two bedroom house, but having them steps away from any spot has been a benefit with a baby in the house. Gibson certainly enjoys having them within easy reach.

And when he does get his hands on one, he loves to show off his telephone skills by punching a few buttons, putting the phone to his ear and then exclaiming, “Heyyyyyy!”

Then he waits for a response.

It doesn’t take long for him to get distracted, though. When he does, he puts the phone down wherever he happens to be, which is exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago when I reached for the kitchen phone.

When I picked up the receiver, I heard nothing but dead air and I noticed the message, “Line in use,” blinking on the phone’s display.

Realizing that Gibson at some point turned on the phone, got bored and set it down without hanging up, I looked at Gibson, who stared back with a big grin,

“Where is the phone?,” I asked. Gibson stared back blankly, then laughed.

In recent months we have found a multitude of items in the most random of places. Penguins recently appeared in my shaving kit. A missing 1/2 teaspoon measure was discovered in my luggage on a trip last October.

So I knew the missing phone could be almost anywhere within Gibson’s reach. After spending 15 minutes searching the obvious drawers and cabinets, I passed by the family clothes hamper and in a moment of desperation stuck my hand into the pile clothes.

You can imagine my elation when I pulled out a cordless phone from the half of the hamper filled with colored clothes. “Aha!” I said as I picked up the cordless unit.

As I pushed the “on” button, elation turned into deflation as I looked down to see the blinking message, “Line in use” staring at me in the face once again. Evidently, the phone I unearthed wasn’t the one Gibson took off the hook — it was another phone we didn’t realize was missing.

In exasperation I gave up the search, content to let the phone run out of charge.

It wasn’t until the next day that the power ran completely out and our home phone service was restored.

When I came home from work that evening, I asked my wife if the phone finally showed up. She confirmed that it had. It was in the other half of the clothes hamper filled with white clothes, she said with a chuckle.

I rolled my eyes and looked down at my son.

Yes, it seems my son enjoys pushing buttons — even my own sometimes.

Ben Hillyer is the web editor of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3540 or by e-mail at