My organization supports the Take Your Child to Work day that many other companies participate in. The official day in 2015 was April 23. That happens to be a busy time of year for my organization, so we delayed it until school was out. We had the event in June.
My organization invites the two other organizations who lease space in our building to participate. We have a full day of activities and education for elementary, middle, and high school kids, with a focus on health professions.
I was excited about my kids participating. The most valuable thing they learned the last time they did this was damn, mom gets up so early every day so we can have an Xbox and all the cleats we need to play sports.
The day started at 6:00am. I normally leave the house at 6:00am, but I cut the boys some slack since this was the third official day of their Summer vacation. By 6:30am, my two groggy commute mates had stumbled to the car with the promise of me buying them a bagel from Panera on the way to the office. Of course, there was the mandatory bellyaching about who got to sit in the front seat, which was quickly squelched by my brilliant missive “Just get the fuck in the car and save your fighting for when all of my colleagues’ kids can enjoy it!”
The boys like taking the Metro. It’s fun to get a ticket, ride the train, and travel up and down via escalator. Because we got to the Metro station at a busy point in rush hour that morning, the car was packed. Nick had to sit on my lap, and Alex sat in a seat facing ours.
Nick has never suffered the heat well. And this Tuesday morning was going to be no exception. By the 5th stop, it was standing room only with no A/C. And we had about 11 more stops to go – all underground with even less fresh air.
The combination of crammed bodies, sitting on my lap, no A/C in our Metro car, the swaying motion of the train, and the (supposedly non-toxic) brake dust smell did Nick in just 2 stops later.
He blurted out, “I don’t feel good…” as we rolled into the station. Which resulted in a panicked look from the passenger sitting on the seat next to us. I jumped up and told the boys we were getting off at this stop.
As we stood at the door waiting for the train to come to a stop, Nick began heaving a little bit. Passengers parted like the Red Sea. I threw my hand over his mouth and whispered “just don’t puke until we get off the train.”
To give Nick some credit, he did wait to fully puke until the doors opened. However, he started spitting up water as we stood on the train waiting for the doors to open. He spit up all over my hand that was over his mouth…and quite close (if not on) the poor woman who had not gotten out of our way fast enough. I sheepishly mumbled “sorry” as I shoved Nick off the train, making sure his brother followed us.
As Nick fell forward to the platform on all fours (quite the drama monkey, that one), he tossed the open bottle of water he had been carrying toward me. Well, technically, he tossed it all over me. I looked like I was the last place contestant in a Hooters wet t-shirt contest, who had also wet her pants.
Hot damn, Take Your Kid to Work Day is awesome so far.
It didn’t take long for Nick to feel better. We hopped another train that was less crowded and did have A/C. We made it to work with no further
puking incidents. I dropped them off in the conference center, and went about my day. At lunch, I joined them in our large conference room, along with the other kids and their parents.
They complained because the only lunch option was turkey sandwiches. I told them after the lunch presentation, I would take them out and get them some food. Because why eat a free lunch when you can spend your mom’s hard-earned Benjamin’s, am I right?
During the lunch session, we had a medical student, physician assistant, and a dentist talk to the kids a bit about careers in each of those respective fields. The PA asked the kids “what do you think I do all day?”
Nick shouted out: “Work!”
Then the medical student asked “any of you want to share why you want to be a doctor?”
Alex blurted out: “The money!”
Even though you might think that would officially put Take Your Kid to Work Day in the win column for me, that was not the crowing achievement.
That didn’t come until the staff photographer told me about the pictures taken during the event. After looking through the album, it was then — and only then — that I knew the day was a total win for the Rice boys and their mother.