Toddler Behavior, 911, and How Norton Got an iPod Touch

Norton playing with my phone… before he called 911. *facepalm*

We all know that toddler behavior is a changeable thing that can vary from moment to moment.  We try to encourage the happy toddler behavior and quash the tantrums as much as possible, but sometimes things happen.

Lately, Norton has been playing with my iPhone a lot.  I don’t mind; I put toddler apps on my phone just for that reason.  It keeps him occupied in the grocery store and other places that I’d rather not deal with a toddler screaming.  It sometimes causes problems, like when Norton says “pway gay” (or “play game”), he automatically thinks he should get my phone… regardless of what I’m doing with it.  On the whole, though, it solves less problems than it causes.

Except today.  Norton was playing with my phone, and he was happy and having fun.  Then my phone rang and he threw it on the floor.  (And this is why I have the OtterBox Defender on my phone.)

Blocked call?  Who on earth?  Whatever.  I just answered it.

It was 911.

Oh, crap.

Norton managed to get into the phone part, find the keypad, dial 911, hit send, and disconnect.

As I’m answering my cell, Norton realizes that I have the phone, which means he can’t have it.  Upon that realization, he starts throwing a screaming fit.

While I’m on the phone with 911.

While I’m trying to assure the very nice operator that, no, it was my kid playing with my phone.  He’s not screaming because of anything awful; he’s screaming because he’s two and he can’t have Mommy’s phone, no matter how much he cries “pway gay!”

So I gave her my name, my home phone number, my address, and told her it really, really wasn’t necessary to send out an officer to check.  I was still in my bathrobe.

My husband heard the screaming and came upstairs.  I explained to him that Norton had dialed 911 on my cell… and he got this look that could best be described as “Oh, crap.”  Then I had to give her his name, too.

Before we got off the phone, she told me that she believed me, but she asked me if I could speak freely.  Initially, it seemed like such an odd question that my answer was a surprised “Yeah, of course I can!”  (It was only later that I realized that she was trying to be really, really certain that it really was my toddler playing with the phone and throwing a tantrum… not that someone had dialed 911 because something really horrible was happening in our home.)

When I hung up, I looked around the house and was relieved.  At least it was fairly clean, so that wouldn’t be an issue if/when the RCMP showed up.  The husband got dressed and put the dogs outside, just in case.

Apparently, she really did believe me, though, because the police didn’t show up.  That was when I decided that I’d had it.  We were going to go buy the husband a new iPod touch and give Norton the husband’s current one.  That way Norton could “pway gay” as much as he wanted, and I didn’t have to worry about accidental calls to 911.

Have you ever had a toddler dial 911?  What happened?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. […] slobbered into the port on my 2nd gen touch.  Norton is using my husband’s old 3rd gen after our 911 incident and my husband has a new 4th gen.)  And my husband loves his second gen […]

  2. […] it and it’s filled with child-friendly apps.  Additionally, there are less risks of any of my children dialing 911 with an iPad.  That’s not, of course, to say that giving your children an iPad to play on is […]

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