Them Days has a long history of babies in the building. I’m not just talking about last spring, when Melanie, Jill and I were all pregnant at once. At that point there hadn’t been a Them Days baby in awhile, then there was a boom. I suppose there was Amanda, but her contract ended not long before her baby was born. But no Them Days office baby in awhile.
If you look through old Them Days magazines, you’ll see references to tiny helpers, and if you dig through some photos in the archive, you’ll come across photographic evidence too. One of my good friends worked here as a summer student back in the day, and she has fond memories of quiet, happy, easy office babies. I guess that’s all part of working at a small non-profit.
In the spirit of that history, I’ve had a little helper of my own this week during the afternoons. Her communication skills aren’t great, but she can usually get her message across, and loudly if need be. She’s a bit of a messy eater, and I’ve been sweeping up Cheerios when she’s gone. She is fascinated by telephones and office equipment, and gets easily distracted by old, non-functioning computer mice. She steals Tracy’s jewellery and puts it in her mouth, or bashes it on the floor. She’s a little melodramatic and cries when she doesn’t get what she wants. She mostly wants to play and look at the same books again and again. She sleeps on the job. (Though, to be honest, I’m relieved when she does.)
On the other hand, she smiles at most of the people who come by the office, and is pretty cute. If we attached Swiffer pads to her knees, we probably wouldn’t have to sweep at all (and her Swiffer-less knees are a good guage of when we need to clean the office). She’s really good at finding things and examining them, totally entranced by the tiniest things we might think consider unimportant. She finds new uses for cardboard boxes too.
And she can follow simple directions pretty well. She can even Swiffer the normal way, without having them strapped to her knees.
She’s the least professional assistant I’ve ever had, though one of my favourites. She can be pretty demanding (who’s assisting whom, anyway?), so I don’t think her position will work out. But maybe she’ll drop by and volunteer sometimes. 😉