Like many people living in the twenty-first century, we dropped our land line. We had one for a while when we were in our old house, but as we started relying more and more on our cell phones, eventually it got to the point where the only people who called the land line were solicitors and David's grandma. For some reason, it was kind of hard for me to let it go, but David convinced me that it was silly to spend money every month on something we didn't use. And so we dropped it.
I haven't missed the landline at all. We've never had one in this house, and we've never needed one.
But I have a tendency to go over worst-case scenarios in my head, and with two little ones, many of these worst-case scenario visions/fears/anxieties involve having to dial 911.
Except, what if I can't find my phone?
At least twice a day, I find myself hunting for my cell phone. It's just too easy to set it down when I get distracted by something (read: someone) and then I forget where I put it. I'll find it a little while later in a closet, on top of the towel rack in the bathroom, next to the olive oil on the kitchen counter.
The point is, I can't always put my hands on it immediately. And I often put it somewhere that Zuzu can't reach it. Plus I'd have to teach her how to use it. Not to mention that she doesn't know the passcode to unlock it.
Anyway, lately, I've been thinking what would happen if... And I was worried enough about it that I talked to David about maybe getting a land line again.
I asked a few friends about this when we got together for a BBQ over the weekend. Of the five couples there, only one had a land line. And all of those who relied on cell phones only had worried about the 911-emergency issue as well. I mentioned that we were seriously considering getting a land line, if only to give me some peace of mind about it.
Jamie pointed out that you don't have to unlock a cell phone to dial 911, so a kid could do it without knowing your passcode (though she admitted that she's never shown her 4 1/2 year old how to do that). The emergency feature on the phone does solve the problem of not wanting your kids to know your pass code, but doesn't do a lot of good if you can't FIND your phone in an emergency.
Beth's husband, Curt, came in during our conversation and made a pretty brilliant suggestion. Instead of paying a monthly fee for a land line, he suggested we could each buy a pre-paid cell phone and keep it in one place in the house, designated for emergency use only.
I really like this idea! I would definitely feel better knowing there is always a phone available (and not buried in the bottom of my purse or sitting on the ironing board in my closet), should I need to use it. My cell phone could still be off-limits to Zuzu, but eventually we can teach her how to dial 911 on the emergency phone.
What do you think? Would you buy a pre-paid phone just to have in case of emergencies? Do you have a land line? If you have older kids, have you taught them to dial 911 on a cell phone? Do you freak out about not being able to find your cell phone in an emergency? Do you have another solution? (Please don't say hip holster!)
Updated to add: We'll be contacting our telephone provider this week to see what our options are. (And by "we" I mean David because in the division of household duties, "Talk to strangers on the telephone" falls in his column. Also, he owes me for the Code Brown Bathtub Situation I had to deal with last night while he was out to dinner.)
I also found this post really helpful, and, unfortunately, Missouri is not on this list of "soft-dial" states.