School Phone Calls

It has begun. The thing I dread even more than back-to-school sales and making the kids get up early.

The phone calls.

Does your school do this? It didn’t happen in

English: This is an example of the angst cause...
English: This is an example of the angst caused by the use of a telephone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hawaii at all. We get at least one phone call per week, per school. Probably more like 2. These are recorded messages from the principal, nurse, and other personnel like that.

They don’t just call you if there’s a huge emergency that everyone needs to know about, like lice or vomiting (which really only makes me super paranoid, because most of the time it happens in another class, and really, you can’t do anything about it after the kids are exposed, can you?). They call you to tell you stuff you really ought to know, like, “School starts tomorrow! Don’t forget to come back!”  And many times they call about stuff they send fliers home about,  like yogurt sales after school. Do you have to kill a tree if you’re going to call/email me? Won’t the call/email suffice?

The other thing is you don’t just get a call, like a single call. I get a call, my husband gets a call, and we both get emails. We’ll be sitting there watching TV at seven at night and suddenly, all the phones will ring all across the neighborhood. Dogs erupt into barking. Babies wail. That kind of thing.

I imagine, then, there is no excuse for not knowing what’s going on, ever. Except sometimes, they neglect to tell us some of the free stuff. For example, the middle school had a free camp, and I did not hear about it whatsoever (note, email, phone call) until I read about it in the newspaper a few weeks after it happened. Come on! That’s the kind of stuff I want to know! The humanity!

I’m dreading the day when I’ll have one kid in each school and we will get three phone calls a week, probably more like nine. And I don’t even count the emails.

It’s gotten to the point where I see the number and hang up to read the email later. It’s like crying wolf; I’m getting jaded to the urgency of knowing what’s going on. I’m worried one day, there will be some kind of major thing I should listen to, and because of all the other calls about yogurt sales, I won’t.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

2 thoughts on “School Phone Calls

  1. Oh, do I feel your pain…

    I totally hate the robocalls for anything other than an unexpected cancellation or an unscheduled early release. For some unknown the reason they can’t remove me from the auto-call list in our disctrict–and I’m listed twice: Once as a parent and once as a substitute.

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