It's funny I should mention my "answering service" (in the last post). Today Benjamin answered the phone and shortly thereafter announced that his dada was going poo and that I could talk after I was done going poo. Gosh, I sure hope the window was open wide enough. I wouldn't want to keep the neighbors out of the loop.
So we're working on "can't come to the phone" or "not available" a little more. I also threw in a brief discussion of traditional ideas about privacy, what information people may or may not want to have, etc.
Now, Benjamin has watched a "Bob the Builder" episode (from a library DVD) a lot lately. It's one where Mr. Bentley has an anniversary surprise for Mrs. Bentley, and the machines must "say nothing" to preserve the surprise.
When my wife was home for lunch, I told her today's telephone story. "That's really funny," was her addition to the "teachable moment." By contrast, I quizzed Benjamin, "So if someone calls and one of us is on the potty, what could you say?" (Yeah, I know. I'm no fun.)
Benjamin grinned and responded, "Always say nothing."
That, indeed, was Muck's summation of the lesson for that "Bob the Builder" episode.
I propose a modified version: "When it comes to surprises [and poo], always say nothing."