For three days this week, I brought my daughter to work. Not really a good thing, if you're cramped in a small space as I am. And definitely not a good thing if you have a snooty kid as I do.
But because papers were piling up and the to-do list just had to be dealt with, I had no choice. And so, armed with a humongous bag crammed with crayons, books and stuff supposedly meant to keep boredom at bay--and with "this, too, shall pass" as my mantra of the week--off we went to city hall.
The moment I set foot in the office, I knew that I had made the transition. Back in Eastgate and in my early days in city hall, I was the playmate: entertainer to kids whose moms had no choice but to bring them along. A marriage contract and a birth certificate later, I had joined the sisterhood of child-toting working moms whose concerns are more along the lines of caregivers, preschools and child-friendly TV.
The walk up to my corner--which, on "normal" days--takes a minute or so, stretched on and on. The moms gave me knowing, welcome-to-the-club smiles, the singles volunteered to do playmate duty. And when the referrals took a little longer to finish, there were the reassuring been-there-done-that taps on the shoulder.
And what of the little girl? She was surprisingly well behaved, with no hint of that fiery temper. She just settled into a quiet corner and finished an entire drawing book. She gave a start when a midget came in and I had to tell her to stop staring. Otherwise, things went pretty well.
Ahh, if I had known that motherhood would be a ready excuse for not clocking in on time, for not getting the job done fast and for playing on the job, I would have done it a long time ago.