Gabi is here at work with me today!
She also came in with me on Saturday.
Due to the fires closing all San Diego schools all last week through today, my company is providing temporary childcare for school aged children. We are a large, international company, and losing two and a half days of work time meant a lot of catch up. Providing childcare to get parents in who otherwise wouldn't be able to work was well worth it to them.
So more than 2/3 of the company trekked in over the weekend to work a full day, lunch and childcare for all ages provided.
Gabi was beyond excited when she found out she'd be going to work with mommy on Saturday and going to daycare! She's seen enough Caillou to know that it meant getting to play all day with other kids. But mostly, she was finally going to be able to wear her Winnie the Pooh backpack, just like the big kids who go to school.
The drive went quickly with no commuter traffic. When I dropped her off, she ran into the craft room without so much as a backward glance. And when I picked her up for lunch, she didn't want to leave! I was finally able to convince her that lunch with mommy would be fun. With pizza! And soda! Though I had to let her wear the tutu and tiara that she had on from playing dress-up.
Gabi fell asleep on the drive home, exhausted from 7 hours of constant play. And slept for three hours. Then went to bed on schedule. Her day of fun had totally worn her out.
This morning I woke her up and reminded her that is was time to get ready for daycare again. A little less enthusiastic than before, but still up for the trip, Gabi let me get her dressed. The drive to work took 45 minutes. Not bad in my book, but for Gabi it was extreme torture. We had to sing a lot of Old MacDonald, and on his farm he had construction workers (with a high-ho here) and palm trees (with a swish swish there), and lots of exotic animals, like emus and giraffes. And there was the fun game of I See, where Gabi kept picking a truck when it was my turn to guess. And she would ask every two minutes if we were there yet.
When we arrived at the daycare area, Gabi held my hand tightly. I signed her in and walked her back to the main room. When I bent to kiss her goodbye, I could see her lip trembling, and she wouldn't let go of my hand! I felt terrible, because I could see she was fighting so hard to not cry, but just couldn't help herself. My brave girl. I found a young volunteer (the 11 year old daughter of one of the VPs), and knowing Gabi's fascination with Older Girls, handed her off. By the time I came for lunch, she was settled in and having a great time.
We had lunch at the cafe, which for Gabi consisted of three bites of grilled cheese and a handful of candy corn. And lots of jumping and pig noises and a brief moment where she laid on the floor. The kind of wonderful behavior every parent wishes for when their child visits them at work.
I'll be picking her up in just a few minutes, and after all the energy I saw flung about today, I see another nap in her very near future. And I bet I'll be able to finish The Memory Keeper's Daughter if she sleeps tonight like she did on Saturday!
Bringing Gabi to work with me has been fun. And Gabi has had a blast. But from the hesitation I saw this morning, I know she'll be so happy to be back with her Grandma. Who takes her to the Library and lets her eat ice cream at the beach. Though we might have to get her her own pink tutu and tiara. She was wearing it again today.