Just when you think you've covered all your bases, your kids still find some way to surprise you. Last weekend, my gracious dad agreed to keep my two youngest girls while Hubby and I took our oldest out of town to a softball tournament. The girls have stayed with him on other occasions but not quite for this long but I wasn't worried. I knew they'd have fun with Grandpa and the thought of not having to haul two extra kids to sit outside for three days in the hot sun was a welcome one.
However, we aren't even gone four hours and I get a text from my middle daughter informing me that my 5-year-old had called 911. Now, a text like that should have caused me to gasp in shock, and immediately phone my dad to see what happened. However, my 10-year-old had been texting me all evening with the random "hey", "miss you", and "how's it going," so I admit I didn't ACTUALLY read her text closely, just scanned it. It wasn't until she texted again asking, "Did you get my last text?" did I admit that I really hadn't read it and so she resent her 911 message.
"Oh no," I said outloud in the bleachers as I read her text, and then texted her back asking why in tarnation did her sister call 911. The 10-year-old informed me that one of their Polly Pocket dolls had unfortunately broken its tiny leg in an awful car accident so, using my Dad's landline phone, placed conveniently in the basement right beside them, my 5-year-old called 911. The thing is, my youngest has not been on this earth long enough to know that some folks still prefer to use home phones, in addition to their cell phones. We got rid of our landline when she was 2 years old, and so all she knows is cell phones. The old home phones in our house have become the girls' play toys which they use for playing office or school, so my youngest assumed Grandpa's phone was a toy.
Oh man! I quickly called my middle daughter to ask what happened and if all was okay. She assured me everything was fine but I had to call my dad that next day to find out the details. He got a call soon after my daughter's emergency call, asking him to confirm that he was who he was and his address and then asked him if everything was OK, there since he just called 911. He informed them he, in fact, had not called 911 and they informed him that, yes, he, in fact, did call 911. That's when I'm sure his mind shot to the basement where his innocent granddaughter was quietly playing Polly Pockets.
Apparently, when he questioned the young suspect about the fake 911 call, my youngest confessed immediately. See ... she had no idea she'd done anything wrong. In her eyes, the Polly Pocket's leg falling off WAS an emergency and playing along, made the correct call. Now, thank goodness, she placed the handheld phone back on the receiver instead of leaving it on the table or then the real fun would have begun. I imagine a slew of cop cars and flashing lights surrounding my oblivious Dad's home assuming that there was a real emergency, then assessing large fees or possible jail time ... who knows, but it wouldn't have been good, I can tell ya that.
Anyways, the positive lesson learned for me was that she does, in fact, know how to dial 911. However, the lesson learned for her was, NO dialing 911 on real phones for doll emergencies! I hoped my dad had put the fear of God in her and he seemed confident that after their talk, she wouldn't be pulling that stunt again so I hope he is right. When I went through the list of things not to do at Grandpa's house with the girls earlier that day, not dialing 911 failed to make my list. I thought I'd covered everything: no fighting, use your manners, pick up after yourself, be polite, and so on, but I guess I forgot one ... "If a Polly Pocket leg falls off in a tragic convertible car accident, do NOT call 911 on Grandpa's phone!"