Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Help a Mother Out, Again

When I get home on Mondays and Thursdays, I ask Lumpyhead if he had fun at school that day. I ask him what he did.

With prompting from Bump (who very helpfully reads the "What Your Child Did in Class Today" sheet when he's not co-oping), Lumpyhead tells me a thing or two about his preschool day.

Last night Lumpyhead asked me, "Did you have fun at work today, Mama?"

I stammered something like "Well. . . I guess so."

Which was terrible, right? Shouldn't I be modeling the kind of conversation I would like him to have with me on school days? My excuse is that I was sort of stunned by the question, so I didn't have a prepared response.

So, Internet. The next time this question comes up, do I:
1. Lie. Gush about how Yes! I had wonderful fun at work that day. I saw my friends and played with my computer and ate all of my lunch.
2. Actually tell him about my day. Explain that I had a two-hour meeting about the wording of a footnote and that my Senate counterparts are being jackasses. Again.
3. Thank him for asking and move on.

Other suggestions? Should I tell him that work isn't "fun," and I go just to keep him and his sister fed, clothed, sheltered, and insured? Would that just spur him to tell me that school isn't "fun"? Should I stop asking him if he had fun at school, and instead just ask what he did?

Do you debrief your kids about your day?

(Oh, and I kept the dress. But it still pisses me off every time I see it in the closet. Too small in the belly?!? Cripes.)


De in D.C. said...

Do NOT pretend that work is fun, or you'll start getting daily requests from the kid to go to work with you. He'll think you're having all kinds of crazy fun without him. Oy.

For now I'd go with option 3, and eventually move into option 2 as he gets a bit older.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Tell him about the footnotes. He needs to know about the real world.

Do not - however, under any circumstance - tell him that your job is a clusterfuck. It is possible that he will repeat that.

Aunt Bob said...

Yes, the Senate and it's footnotes are riveting for the under 5 set!

I get the same question. I usually pick out one semi-interesting thing I did, saw, or ate. (E.g. I saw a man dressed up as Jesus. OR I had a meeting with your friend C. OR I had salad for lunch.) This is usually enough to make it seem like work is not all computer games and corndogs.

nonlineargirl said...

I vote for a rosier picture. A kid that age can't understand what work really means, and it will be hard to understand why you choose to leave each day if you say it is all footnotes. You can say that it brings home the bacon too, as long as he gets some bacon once in a while.

Em said...

I second the vote for a rosier picture. Plus I would praise him for asking.

Also, if you saw a man dressed like Jesus you should definitely tell him.

Misfit Hausfrau said...

I would just say your day was fine and distract him with something shiny. My 5 year old definitely has the attitude that what happens at daycare stays at daycare.

mo-wo said...

thanks for the dress update.

our girl started asking dad around age 3. How was the traffic, daddy? That is always a compelling exchange.

-- I think the eat your whole lunch part is the important bit.

Violet said...

I'd be hardpressed to think of anything interesting to say about my work day. At least my daughter can boast about "went to the park!" or "made pikelets!" or "found a tiger!".

Manager Mom said...

I tell them that it's fun sometimes, and satisfying others. i think it's important for them to know that I like what I do, because that's what I want for them someday. But they need to understand that not every day is sunshine and roses either.

Devra said...

Turn it on him and ask, "What kind of fun do you think I had at work?"

I asked my son that question once and he told me, "You ate pizza and listened to the radio really really loud. Then everyone went to Target."

Who am I to tell him any different?