Today’s “Bring Your Kids To Work Day” at my office.
As I understand it, once upon a time, this was really meant as a means to either encourage children to get an appreciation for what their working parent did during the day, or as a way to have your children consider their career plans as they get older. This isn’t quite what’s going on, but… I’ll buy the intention, at the very least.
In theory, the instructions were fairly clear that this was intended for children 8-15… but a good many of my coworkers seem to have ignored that little fact and brought younger kids. I’ve easily seen a few kids as young as the Monster, and perhaps one that’s a shade older than R, among the gaggle of kids who are being led about our office (which is an extremely open workplace in the worst way, but don’t get me started on that) as if it were a nursery school. Most of the day, the group’s been in a conference room that’s near my team’s work table, so we’ve been front-and-center for whatever they’re doing.
Of course, neither R nor the Monster is here with me today. R had preschool, for which he gets extremely, extremely excited, and the Monster had his regular kindergarten classes.
Now, I could easily have brought the Monster today and few people would have batted an eyelash until after he’d gotten overloaded and had a meltdown. (Which would have been likely – most of the parents aren’t in there, but rather are working while certain folks who organized the day are. They really are trying very hard to keep it somewhat on topic, if fun, and I wonder if the parents wouldn’t be a distraction.) But I’m not that cruel, either to the organizers or him. He thrives with a schedule and with predictability and this is anything but. I don’t honestly know if I’d even bring him for this kind of thing when he is in the requested age-range, or when he’s up to the task communications-wise unless I were in the room with him.
And I’m sure that a lot of parents would be kind of depressed to think about that fact. It’s one more thing that says that my child is not like the other children. But to me… it’s just accepting that there are differences, that there’s always something that I have to bear in mind with helping to make sure that the Monster is ready for the real world. I’m somewhat okay with having to cope with those changes and help him through them. And if that means he can’t do everything that other kids his age can… so be it.
On the other hand, if we have to hear that annoying music through the wall another time… I might just be tempted to see if they can handle it next year… 😉