School was closed today; a forced closure due to it being a polling day, and her school being the local venue.
(which is kind of annoying. I was refused a day off which I requested – but still did – yet we get days like this of great importance I know, and school has to close)
So I decided she could come into work with me. Everyone was pre-warned. H was excited for months, asking on a weekly basis if it was this week she was going.
Last night she could barely sleep. She cuddled up to me as she drifted off to sleep and said “I can’t wait to see the backgrounds you colour in at your work on CDs!”.
This all came about because up until I’d told her “I work in the background” (Peppa Pig has a LOT to answer for), she thought I made music and our bands sung along to the music I create. Which would be dreadful if that actually were the case.
So I had to break it to her – my job didn’t involve colouring in, and was in fact quite boring as far as exciting music related jobs go (like making music or colouring in artwork on CDs). She looked sad.
Today arrived and she was up, bright and early and excited. She decided on jeans and a t-shirt and it was only once dressed I realised she was a mini-me. We went to vote at 7am and all headed on the train together. H found this extremely exciting, commuting to work. She was looking around the train (while sitting on my knee as there weren’t many seats) and doing lots of people-watching.
At Clapham Junction we headed to M&S where I bought her a smoothie. We’d brought our breakfast in to eat at my desk (she was excited about this too and wanted to make sure my work had bowls and spoons) and H set to work on her Bug Club books (which for some reason she’s still in Yellow band for, not Orange), reading three of them in a barely audible voice as she was extremely shy. I worked in the background, making sure she was okay and checking over my shoulder anyway.
The Water Cooler is an amazing thing, you know. A machine that dishes out water. Cold water or Really Cold water. For a four year old seeing a Water Cooler is mindblowing. I know she’ll be telling everyone at school about it tomorrow. She filled up her Moshi Monsters cup with Cold water and felt so proud to have used “the water machine”. Everyone else did the “ohhh isn’t she cute!!!” face because it was awfully sweet. (n.b. we have taps in our house)
Meeting my workmates, she was instantly not shy with Jo who I sit next to, mainly as we’d bumped into her in the park recently so H was at ease and wanted to tell and show her everything about the Toca Trains game she was playing at the time. Workmates came over to say hello, and H hid with her shyness, behind a book or anything she could place over her face.
After work, I asked her what the best things about her day were. I was expecting her to say my work wasn’t quite as exciting as she’d originally thought, but no, the Water Cooler came top, closely followed by the fact she wore my headphones on the computer and iPad. That the whole building is like a maze and that she met lots of people. That CDs and LPs come in boxes and get sent all over the world from there, but she’s still confused who the little man is who does it as he must be very busy.
You know what though, despite the shyness she was SO good. She didn’t do anything silly, she helped herself to biscuits very carefully from the Tardis Biscuit Jar, and she willingly did school work, even finding numeracy games she wanted to play on the iPad once she’d finished her reading. When Naomi brought through her dog she hid around my legs with a mixture of shyness and fear, giggling like mad as she patted the dog. It was a whole new world which opened up.
Mummy doesn’t colour things in at work. Mummy doesn’t draw shapes. Mummy sits on the computer all day instead.
Back to school and voting. It’s an inconvenience, but one I’d be happy to repeat. I placed my votes and H posted them into the buckets. We did our bit, and she asked what it was all about. As far as missing education goes, she’s missed a day. As far as life goes, she picked a good one to be involved. I think we all win there.