adventureswiththepooh

An honest take on life and parenthood

My armpit hurts!

on May 31, 2012

“My armpit hurts! Mommy, change my poop! Mommy, up!”

After making the Pooh a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, pinto beans, and corn tortillas with OJ and coffee milk, I was hoping to buy some peace and quiet to jump on a quarterly business review call I had with a team in Germany. No dice.

She complained and whined and wanted no one but me. My nanny, Liz, bravely tried to take over, but the Pooh was having none of it. Like me, the Pooh is not a morning person, and wow, was she in a wicked mood today. She wanted me and no one but me.

So I used the mute button on my phone liberally as I tried to participate in my call, but I had to respond to questions and also throw my thoughts in when appropriate. Meanwhile, I had a monkey chattering in my ear about poop and armpits and eating breakfast in my lap. Well, I didn’t hit the mute button fast enough.

All of a sudden, people on the line started laughing, and my marketing colleague, Brigitte, said, “Ah, it sounds like we have a new participant on the call. It’s good to get our staff started young.” The conversation veered for a couple of minutes into a couple of anecdotes about small children.

It broke the ice on a meeting that had been pretty intense, so the mood definitely lightened. That said, I was mortified. Mortified that I had a two year old who enjoyed abusing the nanny I hired, and that in spite of my best planning, she put a chink in my professional armor, in front of a room full of Germans, no less!

I was relieved that my colleagues were so forgiving. I was also lucky. I know that not everyone in the company is, and offline, some of them complain to others about people who work from home with children. I don’t blame them. I didn’t understand it either until I had a child. But the truth is, so many of us work remotely that it is not uncommon to hear dogs barking, water running, or spoons stirring in coffee cups while we are on calls. All of us use the mute button, but even still, there is still no technology to filter out the needy chipmunk voice of a toddler.

So for now, I will count myself as fortunate to have a crew of understanding colleagues. Maybe the Germans don’t deserve that bad rap for rigidity after all.

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