August 29, 2005

Take Your Child to Work Day Week Year

Today is the first day of school in Douglas County, and that means it’s back to work for my wife. Which means it’s back to Daddy’s office for Sam, and that means Daddy’s office is back to looking like a daycare again. Oh well, at least Sam’s mess will divert attention away from my own mess.

Having the kid at work isn’t always the easiest thing, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. He’s old enough now (almost two!) to play by himself most of the time, so it’s not like he needs to be constantly held anymore. And a good deal of my work doesn’t require me to leave my desk. I can answer e-mails and talk on the phone right from here, and I can handle most tech support issues over VNC without even standing up. There are rare times that I have to make the journey to someone’s office for a bigger problem, but then Sam is able to just come along. He doesn’t have to be carried anymore, and office visits are usually short enough that he doesn’t get bored and start running down the hall. The big trouble comes when he’s taking a nap; I’m really glued to my desk then.

Of course, being stuck in this 9×15 underground room isn’t the best thing for a growing boy. I can’t just send him outside to play, nor can I let him run loose down here in the basement. And he can’t always have as much of Dad’s attention as he wants. So we’re starting to consider the unthinkable; putting him into daycare. Now, it’s not unthinkable of his behalf. He’s very independent and can go for hours without even realizing we’re in the room. But it’s unthinkable for us, since we never let him out of our sight. We’ve only left him with a babysitter one time, and that was after some careful deliberation and soul-searching. He was fine, but we were a wreck.

So to send him to daycare, and let strangers look after him for a full seven to eight hours a day, is a huge step for us. But I think it’s time to think of the child, not ourselves. He loves being around other kids, and having toys and games to play with, and I’m sure he’d have no problem with not seeing us for a few hours. He’s probably sick to death of seeing these weird people follow him everywhere he goes.

He’s more than ready, no matter if we are or not. So what if Mommy’s hair turns prematurely gray from the experience?

But, until that happens, it’s Daddy and Sammy back in the office again. Everyone here knows him; he’s becoming like the official company child. It’s just amazing that I stumbled into a company that lets you bring your one-year-old to work all day, every day, just in the name of family. When I finally leave this job, I think I’m going to be shocked to find out what real work environments are like. Plus, Sam does give me some kind of human contact when I’m stuck in the basement here for hours on end. Normally I have to go seek people out, or wait for someone to get lost and accidentally wander downstairs. So I will miss Sammy when he goes to daycare, and I go back to only seeing him in the evenings. But at the same time, it will save me a few gray hairs when he’s not down here yelling his head off to try to create an echo.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

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