Any parent will know that, the moment s/he picks up the phone, his/her child immediately sets upon them with ever plea or complaint imaginable. Or maybe this just happens in my house. I tell Matthew that I'll be on the phone for a few minutes and, no sooner have I said hello than the little conniver comes over to see me and starts asking for things: "can I have a treat?" "can I watch tv?" "can I please look at the piece of crystal that you inherited from your grandmother?" "how come you haven't read to me at all today - can we read a story?" Though the answer to any of these questions has been a resounding no 99% of the time, he clearly remembers the other one percent of the time when I've caved, in order to have him go away and leave me to my phonecall. Things improved for quite a long time, but recently he's been back to asking things again most of the times that I'm on the phone.
The pattern is the same: I'm on the phone; he asks a question; I absently shake my head; he asks again, this time with a little more tone to it; I shake my head again, give him a hard look, and this time point to the phone, clearly trying to say without words what should be obvious (I might also, at this point, hold a finger up in the air to indicate that I'll just be a minute); he harrumphs and asks again a few seconds later, maybe adding a foot stamp to get my attention; I cover up the mouthpiece and say (again stating the obvious) that I'm on the phone and could he please wait. Sometimes at this point he goes away, and always with an exasperated grunt; at other times, things just escalate and start to get nasty...on both of our sides...until I end up hanging up the phone in a temper that matches his.
On Monday, Matthew found an old lint brush designed for removing fuzzes from clothing. It's the old fashioned kind that snaps shut in the middle and looks surprisingly like a cell phone. At one point on Monday morning, I approached Matthew from behind and asked him a question. He whirled around, holding his 'cell phone' to his ear, gave me an exasperated look, and held one finger in the air. Then he proceeded to continue the conversation with his imaginary friend, Bambi (who is boy one day, squirrel the next, and so on). For the better part of the day, that boy carried around his new treasure and, every time I asked him to do something, he'd respond with his new phone tricks. The more assertive I got with my request-turned-demand, the more impatiently he excused himself from his telephone conversation in order to tell me, in no uncertain terms, that I'd have to wait a minute because he was on an important call. Scariest thing was that, in his every move, I saw an echo of my own - the little *#$% learned every one of those moves from me! Lesson learned.