I Use My Daughter To Screen My Phone Calls, And Other Personal Assistant Tasks
My daughterâ€™s teacher seems like a perfectly nice woman who genuinely cares about the children. That doesnâ€™t mean she doesnâ€™t scare the shit out of me.Â I donâ€™t know why, after all these years following graduation, teachers intimate me.
Two weeks ago, I had to attend my first parent-teacher interview of the year. Blah blah blah, things were said. I bit my lip, trying not to laugh, when the teacher told me that she is trying to help out my daughter with her â€œdisorganization.â€ I left the meeting, with my daughter in tow (they are expected to attend the parent-teach interviews as well.) I couldnâ€™t wait to get out of there, but there was only one problem. I couldnâ€™t find my car keys. So whatâ€™s a mother – a mother who had just been lectured about her daughterâ€™s disorganization â€“ to do? Well, of course, she sends her daughter back into the classroom interrupting the next parent teacher interview.
I could hear my daughter say, â€œMy mom canâ€™t find her car keys! Did she leave them in here?â€ I watched, mortified, as the two parents and the teacher, looked under tables and the chairs to find my car keys. My daughter came out empty handed and about 10 minutes later I found my car keysâ€¦in my coat pocket.
The point here is not that sheâ€™s her motherâ€™s daughter, but that I used my daughter to get out of doing something I didnâ€™t want to do, showing the teacher that I too am completely disorganized. I couldnâ€™t face walking into that classroom, after that lecture on organization, only to walk back in and say, â€œUm, yeah, I canâ€™t seem to find my car keys.â€ So I let my daughter do the talking for me.
I let my daughter do a lot of talking for me. This is because when things come from a childâ€™s mouth, it is much cuter and people respond better.
Take for example a recent dinner I had at the Soho House in Miami. At the table behind me was Robert Downey Jr. I was like, â€œHey, thatâ€™s pretty cool. Iâ€™m going to ask him for his photo before he orders.â€ I walked up to Robert Downey Jr. and asked pleasantly, â€œI know you havenâ€™t ordered yet, so I figured this would be a good time. Can I grab a quick picture?â€
He said, â€œNo. Iâ€™m not doing that tonight.â€
All I could think was, â€œWell, thatâ€™s the last movie Iâ€™m going to see of yours,â€ and, also, â€œIf I had my daughter with me, Iâ€™d have made her go ask him for a photo and sheâ€™d get one.â€
And Iâ€™d be right.
Only a half an hour later, a mother walked up to Robert-Downey-Iâ€™m-Not-Doing-That-Tonight with her daughter, and they got the photo.
Arnold Palmer, a famous golfer, wasnâ€™t taking photographs with anyone when we were at the Four Seasons in Maui one year. Except, of course, he did when I practically threw my daughter into his arms. He was more than happy to pose for a photo with her (Iâ€™m not into golfers but it made a great gift for her father!) Now that my daughter can talk (and talk and talk) I make her do a lot of the talking for me.
If someone calls, and I donâ€™t want to speak, I make her pick up the phone and tell whomever is calling that, â€œMy mommy is in the shower.â€ The other day we were at Starbucks and it was taking way longer than usual. If I had asked what was taking so long, the staff probably would have gotten annoyed. So I whispered in my daughterâ€™s ear and she walked up to the counter and said, â€œExcuse me? Why is it taking so long today?â€ They responded so kindly to her, talking to her like theyâ€™d talk to an old person.
“We are having some trouble with the machine,â€ they told her loudly and slowly. â€œBut your drinks should be up in a minute. Hereâ€™s a free coupon for your next visit.â€
Itâ€™s fucking fantastic this whole use your kid thing when you donâ€™t want to talk to people or ask questions. When I get my daughter to call room service, for example, and order our meals, the meals do seem to arrive quicker. If I know thereâ€™s a possibility that Iâ€™ll get annoyed (like at a long lineup at Starbucks) I just get my daughter to ask the questions, and that way not only do I remain quiet, but she grows more confident.
She LOVES being my mouthpiece, and I love letting her be my mouthpiece. Itâ€™s kind of like having a mini assistant to do your grunt work. Put that down as a â€œproâ€ to having kids who can speak. I have.