When our fledgling company swapped space in our office building with another tenant, the landlord cut our rent in half. As a small business owner, I was so pleased that I overlooked the fact that our new office suite contained a door to which the landlord lacked a key. My staff and I decided to prop open the door until the landlord could locate the lost key.
The next day, I brought my 2-year-old daughter to work. Jenny happily colored pictures alongside me for hours, hanging them on the wall we’d declared hers. Then, needing to retrieve something from the car, I asked an employee to watch Jenny for two minutes.
This employee didn’t have kids. Somehow, Jenny knew that. Within a minute, she’d speed crawled into the room with no key and shut the door. I came back from the parking lot to be greeted by a hysterical employee and the chance to see my daughter standing on a chair in the room, holding a pair of scissors aloft.
Jenny had already learned to unlock doors at home, so I didn’t panic. I asked Jenny to come to the door. She tried to get off the chair but couldn’t. It teetered and she began to wail. I sang "Hickory Dickory Dock" through the door to calm her down. When I thought Jenny could hear through her gulping sobs, I said, “Honey, open your hands and let the scissors fall down.” Jenny’s wails reignited. "Fall down,” were not the right words.
As Jenny continued to wail on top of a teetering chair inside the room full of scissors, sharpened pencils and other hazards, I called the landlord and the nearest locksmith. Then, telling Jenny, “stay easy,” I pounded my shoulder against the door, hard, four times. The door didn’t give.
“Easy, Jenny," I sang, then sang words from her favorite baby book, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as you’re living, your mommy I’ll be.”
Whoops, wrong choice, and I almost started sobbing myself.
That’s when I asked my employee, “Quick, go to the janitor’s closet, find the sledge hammer.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Find it, now, please.”
“You can’t do that,” she shouted in alarm when I took the hammer to the door.
But I did.
Have you considered bringing your children to work on a day when they or their day-care parent is sick?
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