Twice this week, it was bring a kid to work day for me, and there is never a dull moment with that.
Due to circumstances that develop beyond our control (fog delay for school, for one), there are days that require inconvenient adjustments to the daily routine and that’s what happened this week, resulting in Beckett coming to work with me on Monday morning and Carson on Wednesday morning.
It was two completely different experiences, but the common result of both of these office visits was no work was done by me.
Both my kids have always loved coming to the newspaper office. I think it’s mostly the long hallway they love to run up and down that gets them so excited. Additionally, they seem to enjoy having free roam and getting into all the different options that a business office presents to them.
With Beckett, he seemed particularly thrilled to find our art director, Cindy, was already in the office on Monday morning. For him, it was like fresh meat to be able to dazzle her with his vocabulary, running skills, dance movies, superhero stunts and whatever else was on his mind at the time. He further demonstrated his running skills when he ran off with her cell phone at one time, requiring some daddy intervention.
When he wasn’t talking off Cindy’s hear, Beckett was quite “handsy” with everything. He walked through every room and investigated each desk’s contents. I’m pretty sure he touched every single pen, pencil, stapler, tape dispenser, mouse, keyboard and phone in the entire building.
Unlike later in the week with Carson, who tends to stick close by, Beckett is only interested in the rooms I am not in. He wants some independent investigation time. The good thing with him is I am not worried about him getting hurt or running out the door if I give him some freedom in the office.
Unfortunately, while he may not do himself any harm, the same does not go for other objects in the office.
What I found with Beckett, 4, in general is if I can’t hear him that’s usually reason for concern. That played out during this office visit as well.
After a few minutes of not hearing his voice or the pitter-patter of little feet around the office, I grew concerned and found him hard at work using a black Sharpie pen on a keyboard in the newsroom.
It appears during his thorough accounting of the desks throughout the office he managed to locate a Sharpie, something he does not get to use all too often, if ever, due to its permanent nature. That’s a good thing.
What he was doing with this keyboard, which just happened to be black, was coloring in the letters, symbols and numbers with the end goal apparently being to make the entire thing black. By the time I got to him, he had worked his way through all the letters and was incredibly proud of his accomplishment. I was not so impressed.
Knowing we had dozens of spare keyboards around, I just let him go at it so I could finish what I needed to get done. Later, we talked about the misbehavior side of that situation that quickly bored him. All he wanted to know was what “that guy” thought when he came to work to find what Beckett left behind on his keyboard.
Later, I found Beckett sitting at my desk with stapler in hand, stapling anything and everything together. When I returned to my desk after I had taken him to school, I didn’t even bother sitting down until I had a staple remover in my hand. He really went to town, as I stopped counting after 50 staples.
Unlike Beckett, Carson, 3, stays close to me in the office and liked looking at photos on my computer and watching cartoons on a computer at a nearby desk. For about 30 minutes, I couldn’t believe how amazing he was being, sitting at the desk with a snack and watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I even contemplated returning a missed call, but thought better of it.
After a while, he understandably grew bored and couldn’t resist messing with the keyboard and mouse. Both of which soon ended up atop his head in some sort of impressive balancing act. Somehow he did manage to knock out the volume on the computer and he quickly lost interest soon after.
That’s when he took a page from his brother’s book and started rummaging through desks, leaving a trail of destruction behind him as I followed closely behind.
His ultimate fascination at every desk was the phones. He picked up every one, acting like he was talking serious and even put his fingers on the keyboard and pinned the phone to his shoulder as I would. He then belly laughed as he abruptly tossed the phone to the floor and ran to the next cubicle. It seems cute now, but not so much at the time.
Another thing that was not so charming at the time was when he managed to get a hold of a long Ethernet cord that was in a desk drawer. He was able to remove the plastic band around it and began dragging it through the office much to the delight of our two Labs who also enjoy coming to the office with me each morning.
By the time I got to Carson, both dogs had the cord in their mouths and a game of tug-o-war commenced. The dogs won easily and Carson went face first down on the floor, but he loved every minute of it.
At that point, it was 8:15 a.m. and he was with me until 10:30 that morning. It was quite the long work day morning. Oops, I meant it was a great morning, of course.