Phone calls from the edge

By Mir
May 31, 2007

As I’d already predicted, this was pretty much the week I lost my mind.

(That’s about all I’m going to say about that, for now.)

The natural fallout from this, however, is that I am perhaps A LITTLE STRESSED OUT, and the children react to this in different ways. Monkey reacts to it by giving me extra hugs and kisses and telling me that I am the very best Mama in the whole! wide! world! right before he runs off to do whatever he was planning to do anyway. Chickadee reacts to it in two ways: She either gets a stomach ache (or at least says she has one) or she clowns around until she gets a laugh from me.

Needless to say, I prefer the latter.

For whatever reason, she does her best work in the car.

It’s the end of the month, so there’ve been a lot of police cars on the road. Whenever we pass a cop car I am prone to call out “Hello, Ossiffer!” It makes the kids laugh, although I don’t know if they’re sure why it’s funny.

So we passed a patrol car that had pulled someone over and I bellowed my traditional hello. While Monkey giggled, Chickadee announced that she needed to make a phone call. I was about to ask her SINCE WHEN does she need to call someone from the car, when she held her hand up to the side of her head like a phone.

“Hello? Hello! Ossiffer! I am having an EMERGENCY, and I need someone RIGHT AWAY. Can you help me?”

“You’re having an emergency?” I asked her.

She held her hand out to shush me in an exact imitation of the way I do it to her, when I’m on the phone at home. I stifled a giggle.

“Ossiffer,” she continued, “This is a BIG EMERGENCY. There is a piece of CHEESE in the road. I REPEAT, there is a piece of CHEESE in the ROAD!” Monkey was laughing so hard I tried to remember if he’d been to the bathroom before we left the house. Chickadee appeared to be listening to a voice at the other end of her phone. “Yes. Yes. Uh huh. That’s right. The emergency is a piece of CHEESE in the ROAD. Aaaaaaaaand…” she paused dramatically, then took a deep breath and continued: “I NEED SOME CRACKERS. Please hurry!”

Now I was howling along with Monkey, and Chickadee “hung up” her phone by removing her phone hand from her (very large) grin.

“But… wait…” I finally managed to get out, “it’s so HOT outside. Don’t you think that a piece of cheese on the road would be all MELTED?”

“Oh!” she exclaimed. “You are RIGHT! Just a minute, please.” She flipped her hand-phone open again. “Hello? Hello! Ossiffer! I am having an EMERGENCY, and I need someone RIGHT AWAY. There is a piece of CHEESE in the road. I REPEAT, there is a piece of CHEESE in the ROAD. But it’s all MELTY. You need to come RIGHT AWAY, because I need some TOOTHPICKS and those little cubes of BREAD, please. ALSO, I would like some crackers. Okay. Thanks!”

I don’t know how I kept driving through all of this. Monkey was laughing so hard he was making little choking sounds, and I was gasping for breath.

“Let me get this straight, Chickie. You’re going to eat… ROAD FONDUE?” She met my gaze in the rearview mirror and shrugged.

“Only if the OSSIFFER hurries up with my LITTLE BREAD CUBES!”

“WAIT!” screeched Monkey, “Call him AGAIN! Tell him there’s a STEAK in the road!” He laughed and laughed, and Chickadee and I looked at each other and at him.

“A steak?” she asked him. Monkey nodded, still guffawing. “Monkey, don’t be silly. You don’t have crackers with STEAK.”

Right. Let’s not be silly.


  1. Eve

    Okay, now I see why I’ve been told to read you! Hilarious. How old are those children of yours?

  2. Cele

    That girl has a career ahead of her. dayum.

  3. narcissist

    As for the stomachaches – I sympathize with Chickadee – I always get stomachaches in times of extreme stress, have since I was a kid, my dad didn’t believe me either.


  4. Heather

    Ahh, road fondue. A classic ;-) Chickie’s hilarious!! I know I’d pretty much never cease to be amused around her (especially if I just got to pick all the fun parts :P) but I love reading about it too!

  5. Amber

    Oh, I needed that laugh right now. Thanks, Chickie!

    All I got to hear from my kids today was constant fighting and the 7-year-old’s first use of the word “bitch”. (She’s in big trouble BTW).

  6. becky

    ah, kids know how to relieve stress. great story!

  7. Heather

    OH MY WORD…. Now really I don’t even think my kids KNOW what fondue is and yours want to eat it off the road… priceless.

  8. Allanna

    Your children are amazing. I’m glad that they make you laugh.

    And then you pass it to us. It really makes me smile.

  9. Kendra

    road fondue…fabulous!

  10. Judy.

    I can’t wait for Bob to get up so I can read this post to him… well, I might wait til he’s been up a little while. It takes him a while to REALLY wake up!

    Chickie is so funny… what a great kid she is (I know, I know… when she’s not driving you crazy!) We have to drive up to Atlanta probably next weekend to pick up some equipment. You won’t be coming down, will you?

  11. Brigitte

    Well, if the steak is cut into itty-bitty cubes, it can be dipped in the road fondue!

  12. Heidi

    Lol that is just too cute! Sounds like great kids you have there!

  13. Rachel May

    So funny!!! Thanks for sharing!

  14. el-e-e

    AND, your ads today include one for “Beautiful Fondue sets!”

    Monkey & Chickie are the charming-est kids. :)

  15. Sara

    I love it when my kids crack each other up. I love it when they crack me up. Oh, I’m easy. I love it when YOUR kids crack me up.

  16. Contrary

    That crack(er)ed me up. I swear, I think that’s what kids are best at. Making it all better.

  17. dana

    This is the best. I looooove this story. I’m saving it to tell my husband. He could use a laugh or two. :)

  18. ChristieNY

    “all melty”


    Most adorable story, ever!!! :o)

    Mir, you and your children (and hubby too a’course ;)) are sooooooo pretty!

  19. Aimee

    Oh, YUM! Road fondue!!! Chickie is just awesome. That is all.

  20. RuthWells

    De-lurking to guffaw at this one! What an amazing mind she has.

  21. Heidi

    This is the hardest I’ve laughed at one of your posts, and I’m telling you, that’s a LOT!

    A friend of ours says that laughing is like jogging on the inside. I just put in some serious mileage…

  22. Heidi

    AND–one your ads is for Police Ringtones! Helloooo, Ossiffer!

  23. ScottsdaleGirl


    Please be sure to ask the ossifer for a nice Sauvingnon Blanc to go with the Road Fondue.

  24. liz

    Too funny! Have they, by chance, been watching any Wallace and Gromit?

  25. MMM

    How hilarious!!!!!!! She is GOOD!

  26. jenn2

    I’m not sure what’s funnier, road fondue or the mental image of Monkey laughing so hard he’s making choking noises. I can’t hear kids laughing without laughing myself.

  27. BOSSY

    You have a traveling road show. Next stop?

  28. Daisy

    I must ask — is Ossifer’s first name Phil?

  29. Kristen

    omg–you should TOTALLY keep these kids

  30. Kathy/ Lessons from the Laundry

    A sense of humor is a beautiful thing…so glad your kids got it. Also, your post brought me back to highschool…my 17 year old boyfriend was always saying ossiffer. Thanks for the laugh.

  31. Melanie

    Yummmmm, road cheese. They are too, too cute.

  32. Suebob

    I want to be part of your family.

  33. Single Ma

    OMG! This is too funny! You know I absolutely love cheese right? Tell Chickadee, we can have us a lil “Cheese Party.” It will be the talk of the town! Featured delicatessen – melted cheese with bread cubes and [Ritz] crackers of course. :-)

  34. JamieLee

    That is completely and unabashedly one of the sweetest and funniest things I’ve heard about a kid in a while. You’ve got yourself some real keepers there.

  35. Katrina Stonoff

    ROFL! Road fondue. Oh, this is one of the best entries ever.

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