Take your daughter to work day.
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.