Finding Pa

Bubba loves my mobile phone. He is forever trying to hold it to his ear and even natters away in Bubba language to himself, complete with nodding and shaking of head and, on occasion, arm waving. (This is obviously what I do on the phone, but I try not to think about it.) The other day Grandpa Impractical rang, so I did something different and put him on speakerphone so that Bubba could hear too.

Bubba was fasctinated by hearing Pa’s voice come out of the phone. He kept pointing to it and exclaiming “Pa!” in a very excited way until I lifted him onto my lap so he could see better.

“See, Pa’s on the phone,” I said. Bubba assumed a confused expression and attemped to lift the phone and look underneath it. I realised a bit late that he had taken me literally, so I said, in an effort to make things clearer, “No silly, not on the phone, he’s in the phone.”

Naturally I didn’t think this through before I said it. In my mind I meant that Pa’s voice was in the phone, but once again Bubba took me literally. He looked at the phone. He saw Pa’s picture on the screen. He hears Pa’s voice coming from the phone. He starts to cry. It is at this point I realise he thinks Pa is actually inside the phone and despite my efforts to explain otherwise, Bubba is crying “Pa, Pa, Pa,” and reaching for the phone. In the end Pa and I finish the call and I give the now quiet phone to Bubba. “Pa?” he says, lifting it and examining the now blank surface. I explain to him that Pa has gone now, and is somewhere else. He seems to be content with this, and puts the phone down.

It was only later that I realised the full extent of my words. I went to the toilet and Bubba lifted the lid, looked into the bowl and said “Pa?” I explained that Pa was not in the toilet. We then went to the pantry for a snack. “Pa?” No, Pa is not in the pantry. Similar scenarios occurred with the washing machine, the wardrobe, the toybox, the fridge, the car, the drawers for the TV cabinet and so on. Not to mention every time he saw my phone. Each time I explained to him, as patiently as possible, that Pa was not there, he was at home resting. Each time Bubba appears content but ten minutes later I hear “Pa?” and he is peering into some other strange place, like the nappy bag, looking for Pa.

The next morning, he is cuddling in bed with me while Daddy showers. I reach for my phone and flick it on to check the weather. Beside me, in a very quiet voice, I hear “Pa?” I explain that Pa is not there. Again. We shower and dress and eat breakfast, then I pack Bubba into the car and I drive around to my Uncle’s house, where Pa is currently staying. Bubba is a little nervous as he does not recognise the house. We go inside. I hear a very relieved and excited little voice cry:


There were many cuddles. Many, many cuddles.
Has anything like this ever happened to you? Sharing is caring!

Lots of love,
Mummy Impractical


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