If you are not the reincarnation of that telephone operator from WWII Nazi Germany, please read on; for those are the only ones who might have risked their life for not answering the damn phone every time it rang.
It is not a cardinal sin if your phone goes unanswered in this millennium, especially when you have other important and interesting things to do. Like paying for broken stuff at cosmetics counter while your toddler grins at you like Marty from Madagascar.
Frequently, I have observed that even though the parent holds the toddler’s hands while talking on the phone, the entire focus is not on the child. It is quite natural for a human being to have a split focus while multi-tasking. But beware that this provides a lapse in your firm hold and the child, waiting for this moment, frees the grip in an instant and flees as though he/she is on roller skates. You would be baffled to realize that the health drink you give them actually works exactly like in the advertisement. And when that happens, our rusty and squeaky joints will be no match to their swiftness. It is mostly fine when this happens indoors but imagine yourself on the sidewalk of a busy road and your toddler decides to run perpendicularly; I’d rather not.
So, when you are out with your kid and the phone rings, do take a moment to check if you have your toddler/preschooler up in your arms; even better, don’t pick the phone until you reach somewhere indoors or strap them in a car seat if you aren’t expecting any urgent calls. The call you are itching to answer will most likely be from that shameless, attention seeking friend who wants to brag about her column getting published(Yes, yes, that was me). A different ring tone just for the family/important colleagues might actually come in handy while segregating which ones to pay attention to.
Despite all this, if that urge to answer the phone at the slightest hint of a call emerges again and again; signing up for a short term contract as a call center representative might be a good idea. For, next time a phone rings, you might pick your skirts/pants and run in the opposite direction.