Oh, oh.

Late yesterday afternoon, Audrey called and asked if I could go for a little ride with her and stay with the kids in the car while she popped quickly into a couple of places.

It was raining.  The kids were antsy.  And Audrey was trying to avoid that dreaded unbuckle the seat belts, etc. for little chores like CVS, the bank and the post office.

No problem.  Audrey picked me up at my house and I hopped into her car.

OK.  Problem.

She had Alex, Benjamin and Henry with her.  And they were all crying.  Alex wanted to get out at my house and play NickJr. on my computer.  Benjamin was crying because he wanted to “go in Grandma’s house.”  And Henry was crying because, well… he thought it was the thing to be doing.  I hopped into the back of Audrey’s caravan-type-car and began the entertainment portion of the trip.  Audrey had two books in the car, one about whales and one about panda bears.  I distributed them.


Benjamin wanted the whale book that I had given to Alex.  Alex was happy with the whale book.  Henry wanted a book.

I know that Henry loves my Blackberry and its orange protector cover… and although I very rarely give in, I made sure it was locked and then handed it to him.  He stopped crying.  But then Benjamin wanted my phone.

Henry quickly removed the orange cover, so I snuck it from him and gave that to Benjamin.  Benjamin seemed satisfied with the orange cover.  Then I began to read the whale book to Alex.

All was OK.  Audrey ran into CVS, then to the bank.

While at the bank parking lot, still reading to Alex, I realized that both Benjamin and Henry were very quiet.  Benjamin had picked up the koala bear book and was flipping through the pages.  Perfect.

Henry was staring at my phone.  Like… a this phone looks different kind of look.  I looked at my phone and saw that he had somehow unlocked it and what had he dialed?  EMERGENCY.


I immediately pressed disconnect and hoped that the call had not actually gone through.

It had.

Unknown Number was calling.  I answered it.  “Hello?”

“This is your 911 operator.  What’s the nature of your emergency?”

“No.  There is no emergency. I’m so sorry.  My grandson dialed from my phone.”  I didn’t say that I let him use my phone as a toy.

“Are you sure, m’am, that there’s no emergency?”  I know how important it is for the operator to be assured that I am not just saying this…

“No.  Really.  No emergency. I am just embarrassed to have bothered you.”

“No bother.  I just want to make sure there is no emergency.”

“No.  I am so very sorry,” I apologized.

“Don’t be sorry.  I am happy there is no emergency.”

“Thank you,” I said.

By then, Audrey was back in the car.   I told her that Henry had somehow dialed 911…

But by then, Henry was eying the keys that were attached to the ring on my purse.  I thought the keys may be better than my phone.  I mean, they can’t dial 911.

I don’t know how Henry managed his 911 call, but I will say that the operator who called back was so efficient, so kind and so insistent that my call was truly not an emergency that I will forever be thankful.  He kept me on the phone long enough to establish this.  I will never let this happen again… but if I ever do need to make a 911 call, I will be happy with the voice on the other end.  Thank you, 911 operators, for the important work that you do.  Thank you.

The rest of the trip was uneventful!

Oh, oh. was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (7)
  1. I one time locked my phone and somehow my daughter called my mother!! I was shocked as I was sure my daughter couldn’t have unlocked it by putting in the correct 4 digit password (she was Henry’s age though, just barely 1). Then I realized that she hadn’t unlocked my phone, that there is a spot entitled “ICE” and I had my mother listed as one of my “In Case of Emergency” contacts. It is the only thing on my phone you can access when it is locked. It is always eye opening what these little kids can do!

    I too am grateful that we have the 911 operators there to help in case of an emergency. Glad yours wasn’t an emergency! 🙂

  2. I accidentally did the same thing once from my landline, but I was so flustered that they didn’t believe me when I said it wasn’t an emergency and SENT THE POLICE TO MY HOUSE!! The police were extremely thorough and made sure nobody else was in the house bothering me before they left. I too was glad it wasn’t an emergency, but was definitely more than pleased by the responders thoroughness to make sure!

  3. My nephew dialed 911 when he was a baby – the cops were sent to my sister’s house and she was mortified….lol

    Keys are a much better toy 🙂

  4. I am totally worn out at the energy involved in entertaining in the van cause I have done this myself with Steph’s boys, but not as exciting as your trip. You are such a good grandma! I would give anything to be available like you are at a drop of a dime. They are so blessed to have you Sharon.

  5. We have a 921 exchange where I live so we have dialed 911 more than once (not me personally). It is truely embarrassing when the police show up at your door and they do show up, no matter what you tell them. I’m glad they didn’t show up in your parking lot.

  6. Never a dull moment with four boys! My mom once accidentally dialed 911 on her cell phone; they were knocking on the door less than 5 minutes later! We were especially impressed by the response time when we found out that the cell phone calls have to be sorted by location before they can send the correct people. So, like Bacardi Mama, I was a little worried they’d track you down in the parking lot. 🙂 I’m glad it all worked out!

Oh, oh. was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto