Working from a home office continues to present its little challenges.
Yesterday, I was upstairs in my office when I heard what sounded like a whole troop of kids downstairs. I did what any work-at-home parent should do. I turned up the stereo. After a little while, I noticed that all was quiet again, so I turned off the stereo… and heard sobbing.
C (the five year old) was downstairs, just crying his little eyes out. I waited a bit to give someone else a chance to respond, and then went downstairs to investigate..
When I say I went downstairs, I really mean that I snuck downstairs. I always do these things quietly, so I can hear what’s going on before anyone knows I’m there. It’s much easier to handle situations when you’re not arriving completely uninformed.
Just call me ninja-dad.
I peeked around the corner to see him sitting alone in the den, with one shoe on. The other one was sitting by his feet. He had a full-on cry going. “I’m all alone,” he wailed to himself, sniffling. I looked around. He was all alone.
I hurried in. As soon as he saw me, his crying intensified. “I’m all alone. Momma sent me to be all alone with my shoes. All alone with my shoes! Just me!”
I helped him put his other shoe on, gave him a hug, and asked where everyone was.
He sniffled, pulling himself back together. “Outside.”
“Well, come on then,” I said. “Let’s go play!”
I led him out front to where we discovered a gaggle of kids running around laughing and playing. His mom was sitting with some friends on the front lawn, chatting. As soon as he saw them, C’s tears vanished. He ran to join his friends.
When I asked J what was going on, she didn’t know. “I just sent him in to put his shoes on.”
Hmm… Next time, we’d better make it very clear that he’s allowed to come back out again once he has his shoes on.
Good thing there was a ninja dad around to save the day.