I don’t know the baby’s name, or even its gender, though I believe it is a girl. What I do know is that the baby called again yesterday and left a message on our answering machine.
When I told my husband he said, “Oh, is it speaking now?” Because when you get regularly prank called by a baby, you find yourself keeping track of its developmental milestones almost by default.
In reality, the baby’s most recent message consisted of a smattering of cooing noises, but mostly the vague shufflings of that modern-day phenomenon known as the “butt-dial.” Or in this case, the baby-dial.
I first became aware of the calls about a year ago when a strange phone number—identifying the caller not by name, only by a town, roughly an hour away from us—started appearing with regular frequency on our caller I.D. At first I answered the calls, but was always met by hang-ups. Then, for a while, I tried to ignore the calls, but found this was not an easy task since I work from home.
It wasn’t long before paranoia set in. Was someone casing the house? Did I have a stalker? I started keeping track of what time of day the calls came in to see if I could establish a pattern. Two of the earliest calls woke me (and my son–grrrr) up in the morning. The latest calls came in no later than 8:00pm.
Finally, my irritation grew too great so I dialed the number back. Voice mail. An unfamiliar woman’s voice instructed me to leave a message, so in my politest, non-threatening if-she’s-a-stalker-I-don’t-want-to-provoke-her tone, I kindly asked 555-9483 if she would please stop calling this number.
One week later, her number appeared on our caller I.D. during dinner, and this time, my husband Andy answered the phone. I could not for the life of me figure out why he was chatting so long with this Mystery Caller, but when his strange conversation was over and he hung up the phone, Andy informed me that it was “Samantha,” his old college buddy “Steve’s” ex-girlfriend. Samantha had received my message last week and she was calling us back to say that it was her baby who had been regularly calling us, since she sometimes gave the baby her cell phone to play with and “A” for Andy’s phone number was the first in her contact list.
Andy and I spent the next half hour wondering why Samantha even bothered to keep our number in her contact list since we hadn’t seen her in over ten years and even then we had only known her through the man who was now her ex. And not that it would justify the phone calls, but the chatty baby wasn’t even his.
According to Andy, Samantha didn’t even seem all that apologetic for her baby’s frequent calls.
“But she’s going to take our number off of her contact list, right?” I asked.
Andy shook his head. “Actually, she said she was going to keep it.”
“What are you talking about?” I cried. “That’s totally crazy!”
But Andy just shrugged his shoulders.
And me? I’m just waiting until the baby’s old enough to give it the 800 number for Child Services.