Thursday, April 25, 2013

An Excellent Example of Why you Should Not Bring Your Child to Work

So back two  Fridays ago Henry came down with a bad case of the stomach virus from hell.  The puking started that night and continued off and on until Sunday morning.  Sunday evening he seemed... not 100% I guess.  The throwing up had stopped but it was clear his stomach was still not right. Plus he announced he was going to bed on his own at 8pm. So yeah... not exactly 100%.  Sunday night we discussed staying home with him on Monday, but I had to work because I have very limited time off right now, and Nick had to work because it was the week before finals, so we figured he could go to daycare for a half day and my mom would pick him up after a doctors appointment. 

It seemed like a good plan...right up until the moment where Nick walked Henry into his school and Henry announced "My tummy hurts! I think I am going to throw up!" to Nick and his teacher.  And...well...we don't exactly believe him.  We felt pretty sure he was over it, but like, this kid does not lie about throwing up. Ever.  Plus, it is pretty clear he is not 100%, and after the announcement I am pretty sure daycare wanted him to walk right out the door, so we decided better safe than sorry and Nick took him out of school for the day.

As of the night before, our back up plan was for me to just come home and keep Henry until my mom could get there, but when I got to work I had found out my coworkers mother had passed away over the weekend (I am very sad for them.  Truly, I unfortunately know all too well how hard living and working during these times can be. Cancer sucks.) and we were really busy.  So I decide he can just hang out at my work (with our staff assistant since he can't be in my lab) and I can keep getting things done, and he can just like, color or whatever until my mom could get here.  I mean, I REALLY think he is over this bug, and it will just be for an really short period of time... WHAT COULD GO WRONG? I run the idea my my manager, and she seems to think it's okay as long as it's not for long, and he isn't like, distracting or anything. No problem! He is the picture of non-distraction! 

So my original plan was to have Henry pretty much fly under the radar with the rest of the building.  I mean, not that he isn't allowed to be there... but... well... I just didn't want to make a big deal out of it... in case someone questioned if he was... you know... actually allowed to be there.  So, of course,  Henry and I walk in the front door and we run directly into the director of the building.  So... yeah.  Not exactly starting out 'under the radar', but he seemed fine with it. Totally understanding!  These things happen! I mean, we aren't talking about very long here! So I am still thinking this will be fine.  As we walk down the hall I even let him say hi to a few people, and then he yells down the hall way "I WANT TO SAY HI TO EVERYONE!!!!" and heads start to poke out to see what child's voice this is at work.... things were going down hill.

I swing into our staff assistant's office and just plan to drop off Henry.  She had told me before if he ever needed to hang out with her while we wait for a ride, he was welcome, so I figured it would be easy.  How hard is it to hang out, color for a little bit, and be nice and quiet??  She seems thrilled to have him and all seems okay.  He can just color, right?  And he isn't distracting anybody!  I should ALWAYS bring him to work!

The next thing I know, I hear these crashes coming from her office.  I go in to see what the hell is happening, and find them building angry bird towers out of plastic boxes we use for planting.  And he is throwing his angry bird at them.  And they are crashing... LOUDLY.  The staff assistant looks up laughing and says "Everyone is coming by to see what the noise is and say hi!!".


I attempt to redirect to QUIETLY COLORING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, but I am quickly kicked out of the room for being no fun at all.  I begin to panic.  This is becoming quit the opposite of UNDER THE RADAR and NOT A DISTRACTION.   At that point they get one the loud speaker to announce it's BIRTHDAYS!  Once a month our entire building gets together to eat cake and celebrate birthdays.  So I am in a real pickle.  I mean, clearly my under the radar plan is out the window.  He has been here for LITERALLY fifteen minutes and he has drawn the attention of the entire building.  I figure we might as well swing in for a cupcake, and then head on home to wait for my mom, since working with him in the building was CLEARLY not going as planned.

So Henry and I head up front to say hi and let it be known that we are going to head home.  But we might as well grab a cupcake first, right?  I mean... I am not one to pass up free food. So we sit down, and I am just talking to my manager, when I look at him and notice his color... it seems a bit off... and right then, in a room full of my coworkers in the middle of a work day,  he starts coughing, and then it turns into a dry heave.

That's right.  He dry heaved IN MY WORKS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION.  And then he started to cry, and you guys, he was SO PITIFUL.  And I felt like the absolute worst mother ever.  And the worst coworker for introducing this nasty virus to the building WHILE WE ALL CELEBRATE APRIL BIRTHDAYS. ("Happy Birthday! Here's your stomach virus!)  So I scooped him up and we RAN from the room.  He didn't end up throwing up again, thank god, but it was extremely clear this child is still really sick.  I took him right home, where he curled up on the couch and looked like this for the rest of the day.... and the next day too.  We weren't pushing him after THAT.  If he says he is sick, HE IS SICK.
So... you know... lesson learned.  I will NOT be bringing Henry to work  EVER AGAIN.Turns out at the age of nearly four, he is still a little tiny bit of a distraction. 


  1. Oh hon. I am so sorry, but I just burst out laughing at this story!

    I can totally sympathize with the working parent conundrum...and we have had almost all those situations happen to us before (our son is 14...we have done the drop off that wasn't and the non-distraction distractions at work, etc.)...but the dry heaving at the birthday party celebration...that made me laugh!

    I hope he is feeling much better now! (and no one, including you guys or people at work, got the virus!)

  2. Poor guy! I hope he's feeling better soon.