2011-11-12 / Editorials & Letters

Lighten up: I call it ‘Make Your Child Do Work Day’

By Dawn Weber

Child labor: It has its uses.

At least, I’ve got plenty of work for my two. Also they owe me money. That’s why I don’t use the phrase “Take Your Child to Work Day.”

I call it “Make Your Child Do Work Day.”

And I had every intention of handing my son all kinds of tasks at our building’s celebration last week. Yep. I planned on kicking back, feet up, while he banged out e-mail replies, wrote scripts and edited photos.

But the boss decided I had to do a bunch of extra things that day. Worse, he named me cocoordinator of our department’s events, and thought up tons of activities - for me to execute.

Bosses: crushers of dreams.

So, driving my boy into the city that morning, I wasn’t very excited about the holiday. The meddling supervisor had unknowingly trampled on my Fun Day of Slackery. Worse, it looked like I’d be busier than a onelegged Riverdancer.

Although I try - I have a hard time remaining in a bad mood around the little monkey. Witness the running commentary:

-”You have to pay to park? Why?” (I don’t know, son. I ask myself this every day. It irks the be-jeepers out of me...)

-”Geez, Mom, you have a long walk to work!” (Yes, son, seven minutes, and I used to walk even further. This also irks the be-jeepers out of me...)

-”I’m in the Big City. I’m not in the Big City too much!” (No, son - you’ve never been in downtown Columbus. You’ve never been downtown anywhere.)

-”’ I Choose Smirnoff!’” (Great, son - now you can read the alcohol billboards. Also? You will not be choosing Smirnoff anytime soon.)

The boy and I arrived at work, and we had no choice but to pick up our gear and get going. While I was sweating and panting, trying to keep up with the other kids in my care, my child snapped pictures and wrote notes. Smiling, grinning, laughing the whole time.

I wondered what he was smoking. Apparently, jobs are a hoot. Who knew?

On breaks, we gave the facilities a good safety inspection, racing around the revolving doors, Buddy-the-Elf- style. And there were FOUNTAINS! There were STAIRS! People, there were ESCALATORS!

Huh. Revolving doors and escalators are a hoot. Who knew?

We admired and thoroughly tested (all) the (flippin’) escalators. Then, we grabbed a snack and went back to my little cubicle. It was there that my kid was absolutely blown away by the opulence of my workspace, the generosity of my employer.

“Wow! They gave you your OWN TRASH CAN?!” he said. “WOW!”

Yes, son. My own personal trash can! Also a tape dispenser and a STAPLER! Go to college, work hard, and one day, you too can have employer-purchased office supplies (to steal and take home.)

Dreams do come true, little one.

Walking out the door that night, he said he wouldn’t mind doing my job.

“Geez, Mom, I don’t know why you say this place wears you out,” he said. “This was fun!”

But guess who fell asleep, on the couch and in front of the TV at 8:30 p.m.?

Besides me, I mean.

Dawn Weber is a national award winning columnist, and a Brownsville wife and working mother of a teen and pre-een. She blogs at http://www.lightenupweber. blogspot.com

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