Little Boy’s daycare is closed for a few days of teacher training, so I brought him with me to campus this morning. My office is in a mostly-empty outbuilding, so there weren’t any major concerns about disrupting others. (Not that there are many other people on campus at 9 AM in early August anyway.) The plan was to try to keep him entertained with the novelty of it all while I sorted some papers and packed a few things.
It went delightfully well. When you are almost three years old, there are many new and exciting—and sometimes scary—things to experience at a university. Parking garages! Elevators! Public bathrooms with loud toilets! And of course, Mommy’s office, with swivel chairs and a dry-erase board and stuffed animals and a vuvuzela (yes, really). Plus a scientific calculator (he assumed this was a phone at first) and a computer with a mouse that he could click and scroll and use to make new desktop folders!
I had several dozen old pens that had accumulated over the years, and set Little Boy to checking them. “If it works, give it back to Mommy; if it doesn’t work, put it in the trash can.” He was quite effective at this task.
The best part of the morning was when my friend, who is also graduating and packing up her office across the hall, arrived. Little Boy was ridiculously excited to see her, despite only knowing her by name before today. He spent a good 20 minutes jumping up and down and running back and forth with sheer happiness. Preschooler enthusiasm is amazing.
When I was Little Boy’s age, my dad was a PhD student. I’m going to have to ask him if he has any stories about my visits to his office and lab.