Take your daughter to work day.

I can't think of the last time I had a whole week between posts. That's just the kind of week it's been.

Besides the ordinary madness of prepping for crazy projects, an upcoming 10-day trip, personal obligations, and you know, seeing the kids for a few seconds each day, I enjoyed the proverbial business trip from hell: Think canceled flights, an ear-piercing airport alarm that didn't let up, a mad dash from Newark to LaGuardia at rush hour, a waitress that ignored us for 15 minutes then refused to serve us because "the kitchen just closed," and a hotel that had given away our rooms at 1AM and sent us elsewhere--only to arrive 4.5 hours before my wake-up call.

My work schedule hasn't just been taking a toll on Mom-101, but those kids I like to mention around here every so often. This week alone Thalia had two huge, uncustomary meltdowns before I left in the morning, complete with shrieking, thigh-clinging, enormous tears, and me fighting off my own as I packed up my guilt and sneaked out to the elevator.

That's always fun. 

On my way to the subway I thought you know, there are a few people at work who bring their kids to the office from time to time in the summer. Why not me?

So I set up a playdate. For Thalia. At my office on Friday. Sage could stay with our sitter and have her own special day, and Thalia and I would have ours.

Thalia was so excited, she picked out her outfit the night before. She asked about what subway she'd take. She listened patiently as I explained the office rules. She told everyone she could that she was coming to my office for a playdate, and that she was going to get to be in her very own office just for kids! With toys in it! (That's what happens when the other kid is the CEO's son.)

She woke up at 6AM, and blearily asked how many minutes until we left for work. And then kept asking. Every four minutes or so.

The day was no disappointment. Thalia now she thinks that advertising is the single greatest job in the world, because you get to eat Lucky Charms for breakfast, pour your own water out of a machine in the kitchen, watch DVDs on a big TV, eat cupcakes that the interns had made, and spin in chairs.

She's not wrong, of course.

Thalia and Bryan also kept busy with plans for an office lemonade stand. They spent the entire day creating posters, taping them all over the office doors of kind colleagues, and daydreaming about how much they could charge for each cup. At first Thalia said she might charge $20 a cup because then she could have even more money. I gently explained the principles of supply and demand, and Bryan suggested 20 cents a cup. Smart kid. We settled on 50 cents.

I was so proud of my little capitalist until I realized that in the end, they scribbled out the cost, gave away their efforts (or really, Paul Newman's efforts) for free and were just happy to have done something fun and gotten some free snacks out of it.

In other words, just like a real advertising creative.

That night, for the first time...well, ever, Thalia crept into her room after dinner without saying a word. She got herself undressed, put on her pj's, slipped into bed without so much as a story request or a glass of milk, and fell soundly asleep.

Now she knows.


Blogger erin said...

You just made me miss advertising more than ever! It kicks your butt, but I couldn't have asked for a better work environment. In-house designing doesn't hold a candle to agency art direction...even if I am making the same part-time as I was full-time at the agency! So happy you were able to work out a special day for the two of you!

7/18/10, 8:31 PM  
Blogger Marinka said...

Don't eat the intern-made cupcakes! (Don't you watch Lifetime?!)

7/18/10, 9:04 PM  
Blogger Magpie said...

I love this. I take my daughter to my office from time to time, and it's just great. We ride the train in, we go out to lunch, she watches movies, she visits the costume shop, and we get ice cream on the ride home. Awesome.

And next time, I'll have her set up a lemonade stand!

7/18/10, 9:06 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...


My older one is ready for another visit, I think. The last time I took them to work, the baby got his name badge attached to his blanket, because he was too small to wear it himself.

7/18/10, 9:15 PM  
Anonymous dusty earth mother said...

Very smart of you to show them where Mommy makes the bacon. (Hmm. That didn't sound quite right, but you know what I mean.)

7/18/10, 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Bryony Boxer said...

So sweet. And now I'm thinking I should get my own kids more involved in my business!

7/18/10, 10:34 PM  
Anonymous Jane said...

This made me smile and giggle, what a fun day!

7/18/10, 11:23 PM  
Blogger sarah doow said...

Spinning in chairs is really what it's all about.

7/19/10, 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Jen Singer said...


That describes my four years in advertising rather accurately.

As always, thanks for the great post.

7/19/10, 10:47 AM  
Anonymous apathy lounge said...

In other words, she's feeling your pain. I love those life lessons that kids get to learn...minus lecturing from me.

7/19/10, 10:59 AM  
Blogger Ouidad said...

Forget camp or backyard play ... it's a day at the office that really wore her out! Great post!

7/19/10, 11:46 AM  
Blogger HaB said...

My daughter from time to time will grab her bag that goes back and forth between daycare & home, grab her little purse and declare "I'm going to work. Have a nice day & I love you".

I know that they say imitation is the highest form of flattery but it still makes my working mom heart ache.

7/19/10, 1:53 PM  
Blogger kaboogie said...

When I was an art director, I had my first. I used to bring him to work in his car seat carrier and put him on the floor next to me, under my desk if he was sleeping. He slept a lot, thank God! I would lay him in my lap, nurse, or tie him to my back and keep working, he rarely made a peep. As he got a wee bit older, and started to need more attention, the receptionist loved to keep him at her desk. This only lasted about 4 months, until I couldn't do my job as well, and I left to work at home as a freelancer. My kids have been watching me work at home every since. It's been good for them to see how hard I work. They understand now that they're older, and look for their own skills to market!

7/19/10, 3:29 PM  
Anonymous toyfoto said...

See, now Annabel's going to wish her mom worked in advertising not in a newspaper ...


Not only do you have children for a playdate you also have a lemonade stand.

7/19/10, 4:52 PM  
Blogger Elaine A. said...

Sounds like she got a good little taste of the working Mom's day, huh? Well, sorta. ;)

7/19/10, 5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved taking my kids to work with me. It almost makes me miss working in an office instead of my home office, where my kids are all the time. In fact, I have my seven-year-old here next to me stamping my business receipts.

I love the lemonade stand in the office idea. I wish I had thought of it...my kids would have made a killing and had a blast...if they didn't end up giving it away, too.

7/19/10, 7:49 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Jilly thinks you work in the best office on the planet. I swear, I could've left her to live there for a week, and she would've been happy.

I wish my kids respected my work, but seeing is it's on the kitchen table, it doesn't quite cut it.

7/19/10, 10:16 PM  
Blogger Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I work from home on the computer, sometimes on the phone. One day recently (they're 8 and 6) I introduced them around the office I telecommute to. "These are all the people I talk with over the computer," I told them, and they were SHOCKED. I think they thought my job was imaginary.

7/20/10, 12:22 AM  
Blogger Keda said...

That's wonderful. SOmetimes they just need a little attention. Althogh I don't always get it right, whenever my little one turns into a hip-attachment, I just give her 10 minutes or so of my time, we giggle, we play, we hug and she goes of and does what she wants for at least half an hour. Sometimes they just want to feel a part of your life and not just some random accessory.

7/20/10, 6:47 AM  
Blogger Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

Sounds like Thalia might have her future job figured out years ahead of her peers ;-)

This sounds like a great day! Great idea.

7/20/10, 10:29 AM  
Blogger Life Without Pink said...

How great is that! I was in marketing/advertising once {until I got laid off sniff sniff} and it was so much fun! Glad your daughter had a good time....sounds like she has a business mind :) Stop by from Coma Girl's Friday Favorites {my new feature}.

7/23/10, 9:21 AM  

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