Working From Home is one of those things people claim to aspire to, generally in the same breath as 'acreage' or 'little place in the woods'. Idyllic, right? No traffic crunch, skip the hustle & bustle, wear your pyjamas all day. Put your feet up. Drink Nescafe or something. And then when you have children, you never have to stoop to subjecting them to daycare [delicate snobby shudder], you can simply carry on with the work you're fabulously passionate about doing, from your acreage, in your jammies, with your Nescafe, while your angelic future children play quietly, or nap, or, you know - whatever it is that children do.
I was fortunate enough on Friday for the Fates to grant me a tantalizing tittle of the ambrosia that is Working From Home. It went a lot like this...
* * *
"Mommy just has to work for one more minute, and then we can read a book. Why don't you pick out a book to read while mommy just works for one minute?"
Small Fry looked me straight in the eye and slowly, deliberately poured his cup of milk on the floor, then promptly began wallowing in the puddle.
"Milk, swim! Milk, swim!"
"Oh, you little [several choice terms not fit for a family-friendly blog such as this one]! Go! Go away! Mommy has to clean up your mess."
[Probably some more terms uttered at this point, if we're being honest here.]
And just in case I wasn't crying over the spilled milk, while I mopped up the kitchen Small Fry ran to the living room, removed his clothing and peed on the floor.
"Water," said he, "mess."
And then my head exploded and I bloody well had to clean that up, too.
* * *
... for approximately eight hours.
I hope I enjoyed whatever naughty things I got up to in my past life, because Working From Home is a special kind of hell.
While I was still on maternity leave with Small Fry, I once dreamed that I went to work to take a break from home. I sat in a squishy, ergonomic office chair, put my feet up on a desk, sipped a coffee. My boss stopped by with a batch of homemade popcorn balls that he was selling from a cigarette tray. I bought one. It was delicious.
That was one of the best dreams I've ever had (sorry, Keanu). Admittedly, I've never been served popcorn balls nor lounged with my feet up at my workplace, yet somehow Friday's events triggered a vivid memory of that dream. It was clearly a message from my subconscious, and the message was this:
WARNING: Get your head out of your ass. Work should never be attempted From Home.