The next time your spouse tells you that being at work is harder than staying home with kids, I’d like you to refrain from punching him/her in the face, and instead, enlighten them with a story about what their job might be like if there were toddlers present at all times.
Imagine you go to work like you do every day, but then one morning, you walk in to find all of your co-workers have been replaced with toddlers — 3-year-olds to be exact. Here is how your day goes down:
8 a.m. You pull in bright and early and see Bob, your officemate. “Good morning, Bob!” you say. “How are you today?” Bob responds with a fart and then falls to the ground laughing. Because farts are hilarious. You both enter the building, and Bob tells you he can’t walk up the two flights of stairs to your office space because “his legs are too tired.” So with one arm, you carry your bag, coffee, and lunch, and with the other arm, you carry Bob up the stairs.
9 a.m. It’s time for you to give an important presentation to your most esteemed colleagues. You’ve been preparing all week for this and can’t wait to showcase your work. Unfortunately, the conference room you’ve booked has only swivel chairs, and so you spend the first 10 minutes attempting to get the attention of your spinning colleagues. Then someone draws on the table with permanent marker, and how did that battery-operated monster truck get in here? By the time you corral the group, the hour is over. And Debra has to pee.
12 p.m. Yes, lunchtime! You envision a quiet, civilized meal where you can actually taste your food. But wait, Debra and Sheila didn’t bring lunch and they expect you to take care of it. You ask Sheila if she wants half of your sandwich. “Mine!” Sheila says, but after taking one bite she tells you she doesn’t want it because it’s yucky. So you offer it to Debra, who obliges. But now Sheila decides she does want it. It’s now the most delicious sandwich, and she has to have it. To avoid a meltdown, you give Sheila and Debra your entire lunch, and they pay you back with the dirty Tupperware.
3 p.m. You’re about to get on an important conference call. You tell Bob and Sheila that they cannot, for any reason, interrupt you. They understand, they tell you. No problem! Ten seconds into the call, Bob comes bursting in screaming that Sheila looked at him funny. Sheila follows behind and tells you she has to poop. You hang up.
5 p.m. Time to leave. You’ve been anxiously awaiting your 30-minute commute so you can catch up on your podcasts. Or maybe just enjoy complete silence. But wait! Bob and Debra don’t have rides home. You spend 10 minutes strapping them into their seats. And snacks. They must have snacks. The messier the better. With mouths full of Goldfish, you start the podcast, and Debra immediately cries out that she needs Raffi. Not the entire album. Just that one annoying Raffi song. On repeat. Again and again.
You get home and realize that in just 12 short hours, you get to do this whole thing all over again. But hey, at least you get a paycheck for this job, right?