Seems to me that whomever thought up the idea of Take Your Child To Work day was a narcissist! At home we fight the morning rush to get up, dressed, teeth and hair brushed, and some semblance of food into our children before racing out the door with thrown together lunch sacks and still full backpacks, just to get them off for the day before having a few minutes of head-clearing quiet in the car on the way to work.
At work, I get to enjoy other people’s amazing children. They show up to my therapy room on schedule, stay and play for their short but all smiles and fun-filled time. By the end of my day I am tired, but have had the opportunity to take a different outlook on my day.
Today, for Take Your Child To Work day, I went through the mad rush, packed lunches and headed out the door with my youngest, a Kindergartener. He was ecstatic to get to come play in my therapy gym, like he had the opportunity to do a few times before while I worked on a Saturday getting plans and equipment together for my weekly sessions. He had never, though, spent an 8-hour day at work with me.
Holy hell! It was torture. Not because it was MY kid, ALL DAY LONG. I do that all summer, and school breaks, and on vacation. It was because my kid wanted all of my attention, around all of those other kids who so desperately needed it, too. I had never seen that side of him before…jumping the line, always going first, telling the other kids what to do, ignoring instructions just do he would be the winner. He took apart everything. Left parts of games and toys strewn around the room. Defied all rules! Yikes! The kids in my room looked sideways at me for how he was behaving, which was totally the opposite of which I always instruct them to do. I had always upheld my standards and rules with my students. They knew that they could not get away with disobeying or disrespecting my space.
Lucky for me, the kids I have been working with are pretty forgiving. They noticed he was younger, not quite as mature, and was obviously looking to be in the spotlight. They allowed his bad behavior to happen without engaging with him. More so, they did it call me out on it. They shot me the wink on their way out–the signal that they knew it wasn’t easy, but it would be OK.
My sweet little boy went home absolutely exhausted, but more in love with his Mom because he got to steal the show all day long. He got to show Mom who was the big man on campus. He got to play to his heart’s content. Me? I came home a frazzled mess, so tired that I opted for drive-through on the way home and allowed him to doze off in front of the TV. He woke up, briefly, before getting ready for bed and asked, “Mommy, can we do that again next week?!” Um…..no! Maybe, just maybe, next year will be different?!