07/12/2012 12:57 pm ET Updated Sep 11, 2012

Camp Phone Calls Could End A Marriage

Who knew highly anticipated camp phone calls could be such a blow to a relationship? Oh well, when my baby is 1,500 miles away from home and I get a few minutes to talk to him, it's every man, ahem mom, for herself!


It's sleepaway camp time and everyone is getting their calls from the kiddos. I've found a pattern: I desperately want to strangle my husband after each call. Luckily for me (and not so much my husband), I'm apparently not alone.

Look, us moms are ready. We've stayed up until the wee hours waiting for the pictures to download -- sometimes hitting "refresh" every minute, (and by minute I mean second) as they download one at a time. We've studied them like highly trained CIA agents, analyzing their smiles, their friends, their body language. Scouring shots to see if our child's arms are around their buddies or they're sitting uncomfortably next to someone with their hands in their lap. We magnify the pictures until they're so pixeleted they're barely visible to catch a glimpse of our own kid's head or shoe, because we know the tiniest details -- from the way a cowlick lays to the unique color of their new camp Nike's.

We are eagerly awaiting our call to find out the truths behind the images and we want to hear our baby's sweet little voices. We have our questions written out, well at the very least, thought out -- no we don't go into this ill-prepared. We also have a distinct feeling that what we have to say is way more important than what our hubbies have to say, but we let them talk simply because well, they're our baby's donor, I mean, daddy. I meant daddy, I don't know where that came from! Sheesh, you men are so sensitive.

Please send all hate mail to my husband at

Jake: "Hi mommy, I love you soooo much."

Me: "Hey baby, I love you too! Are you happy?"

Jake: "Yep."

Me: "How's camp?"

Jake: "Good."

My voracious appetite for answers can not withstand anymore of this. With so little time to talk, I need to, as the sexy Channing Tatum would say, "step it up." (I'm sorry, I just saw Magic Mike and he seems to be creeping into all my conversations.)

Me: "Your hike looked insane yesterday. Was it fun? How cold was the water? Were the rocks slippery? Are you wearing your sunblock? Your eczema cream? Do you love the rock wall? How long is the zip-line? Who's the boy with braces? Is he your best friend? Is anyone mean? Are the counselors nice? What are you eating? Was your camp cooler than the one you played baseball against on Tuesday?"

Sure, I spouted off a lot of questions... there's a lot to ask, and only a few minutes to talk. As soon as he answered one, I moved on to the next.

A couple of times Mark started to butt in with an "ummm... hey Jake, do you umm..." to which I would wait about a second for him to get his thoughts together before bowling over him with my next line of questioning.

I looked over to see Mark glaring back at me crossly, cross-eyed... cross? I don't know the correct verbiage, so let's go with, "pissed-off and frustrated, as if he was about to throw the phone at my head." To which I whispered, in that angry whisper-yell (you know, the one you squeeze out between clenched teeth in restaurants and other public places), "WHAT? Have your questions ready."

Then I kindly paused to give him a chance to speak... against my better judgment.

Mark: "Jake, have you gotten all my letters?"

Jake: "Yep."

Mark: "Which ones?"

Jake: "Ummmm, Well the one about my new team when I get home, and ummm, I don't know, I don't remember them all."

See, and this is why my judgement is "better"! Is he freakin' kidding? I brush my teeth longer than the time I have allotted to talk, and Mark wants to confirm his letters were received? Now is not the time to test the accuracy of the postal system or the email printing process set up at the camp!!!

NOT an acceptable caliber of conversation! And I'm the conversation rater, I'll have you know.

Mark: "Did you get the one where I bowled a 300?"

Jake: Oh, yeah. That was awesome. Did that really happen?

Okay readers, I have to interject here because I know you're thinking, this is high enough caliber, right? I mean, how often does someone who is not a pro actually bowl a perfect score?

What I should share is that...

He was not so much talking about this:

as he was talking about this:

Yep, I was listening to my husband waste precious time talking about a game of Wii freakin' sports, which he played alone, no less!

So, I barreled back in, as he didn't prove himself worthy of our remaining time... "How was your camp-out? Were you scared? Did you sleep through the night? What song did you do in the lip-sync? You looked like Eminem."

Again, Mark gave me the look, but this time he put the phone by his side in utter annoyance.

"You are so selfish, you don't want to hear him talk 'cuz I'm asking all the questions?" I whisper-yelled.

Me: "Do you have a girlfriend? Do you like water-skiing?"

Mark: "How many ski boats are there?" (Mark managed to smush himself back in.)

Did he just ask that question? I told him the other day that there are 2. TWO freakin' speedboats.

Great, now he's wasting time with shit he already knows. Tic, Toc, baby.

Mark then went on to rattle off the line up for his travel baseball team this season and tell him about the bat he just ordered...

Mark: "Guess which bat I got you?"

Jake: "The Louisville Vertex?"

Mark: "Noooo."

Jake: "The new Worth?"

Mark: "Noooo."

Jake: "Nike Aero?"

Mark: "Nope, I'll give you a hint, it's made by Easton."

Is this happening? Will this lead to couples therapy? Does anyone feel my pain, here?

Look, we moms want OUR time to be all ours. Even if the hub is right (and he was). All my babe wanted to do was hear us and all I wanted to do was get answers to every thought and query I'd stored in my head from the minute he set foot on the plane.

Luckily for Mark, the calls are infrequent enough that our marriage will withstand these bumps in the road. Next year, I'm just gonna tell him they did away with calls altogether -- due to the rise in the divorce rate.

- Jenny From the Blog

Addendum 1: After discussing this, a friend told me that she simply took the phone out of her husband's hand when she felt he was done. Two minutes she gave him, and then she plucked it right away from his eager ear. They didn't talk to each other for the rest of the night.

Addendum 2: A second friend confessed that she arranged all the calls while her hubby was at work.

Addendum 3: A friend called me after reading this story and said that her husband's only question was, "Is your bed comfortable?"

"You gave him one question and that's all he could come up with?" I asked.

"No, I would've given him more, but he lost his privileges based on his first."

Addendum 4: An email came in saying this "I can't deal with the calls because my hubby's voice changes. It gets all high like he's talking to a dog -- Hi Lindseeeeeeey, how are your friennnnds? Are you, wooshey woo having fun? Hmmm? Huh?

Take a sec to check out some other  humor that any mom can relate to: 40 Things Every Woman Should Have or Should Know by 40

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