At the moment, my boss is away on rec leave, which means that he’s got someone else acting in his job while he is away. It also happens to be the end of term 2 school holiday with kids returning to school on Monday, and because of this, for the last 2 weeks, there has been a lot of staff off work looking after their little critters. Fair enough.

Last night, my boss checked in with me and asked if I’d mind her bringing her kids into work today, and I said I didn’t mind, so this morning I was prepared to see 2 kids in the office and when I got into work, there was no boss and no kids.  I messaged my boss and she said she’d be in a tad later than usual. OK.

When she got into work with her 2 kids they were all armed with bags of things to keep them busy while Mum worked.  They bought colouring pencils and books, scribblers, crayons, some toys etc., all designed to keep them busy and out of Mum’s way while she worked.  First up, she had a meeting to attend, so she left her 2 kids in her office and asked me if I’d mind keeping an eye on them while she went to her meeting. I didn’t mind, and no sooner had she left her office, I could hear her kids banging on the whiteboard and playing up.  I had to get up and see what was going on and to just make sure that they were OK and not destroying the joint.

I stepped into the office and found them in front of the whiteboard, using all the different coloured whiteboard pens scribbling ferociously on it while also heavily banging the whiteboard eraser. As I stepped into the office, they spotted me and immediately stopped their activity. I asked them what they were up to, and suddenly Ms6yr old said that they were about to play hangman. She clearly was in charge.

She picked a 4 letter word, which she misspelt, so had her brother and me guessing all over the place. The word was ‘went’ and she spelt it ‘wint’ and when I corrected her and said that it’s spelt with an ‘e’ she almost cried but held it together when I quickly said that it didn’t matter, that she could pick another word and have another go. After the second attempt, they quickly lost interest in their own game! So I got a marker and drew a line right in the middle of the whiteboard and asked them to draw me a picture of something and the best drawer would win.  They looked excited, both sure they’d win over the other, and I left them to it and went back to my desk for a minute.

When I got up and went back into the office, I looked at the whiteboard and they still hadn’t figured out what to draw, so I made some suggestions to help them along. What about drawing a car, a beach scene, a plane, a doll, a…? ‘Ms, can I draw you sitting on a toilet doing a poo…’ said Mr8yr old.’ ‘What?!!! No! That’s disgusting… gross… No!’ I said. ‘I’ll go back to my desk and when I come back I want to see something good on that whiteboard. Remember, best-drawing wins!’ I said.

Meanwhile, my boss returns from her meeting and before she steps into her office, I whispered in her ear and told her what Mr8yr old said.  She had a small internal giggle and walked back into her office. As I sat there, I thought about what to give these kids for a ‘win’. Damn. I had nothing around me fun enough for them to ‘win’. It was lunchtime, so I picked up my handbag and told my boss and the kids that I was off to lunch and that when I get back I’d like to see something good drawn on that whiteboard.  Mr8yr old asked how long was I going to be away for and I said about an hour, and I was sure he didn’t know how long an hour was, lol.

I got back from lunch with 2 sticker colouring books and I walked into the office and saw they were all still in there and I said, ‘OK. Now. Let me see what you’ve drawn on the whiteboard. Hmm. Difficult choice. They’re both really good drawings. Hmm…’ I said as I rubbed my chin with my fingertips. ‘Well, I think it’s a draw and you’re both winners and as you’re both winners you both get a prize!’ I pulled out the sticker books from my handbag and handed it to them.  Both very excited and very happy, and my boss said, ‘Manners children.’ ‘Oh, thank you MsG…’

I went back to my desk and as I got settled in, my boss and kids were getting ready to leave the office for the day and Mr8yr old comes up to me and said, ‘When we come here again, can you buy me a sticker book with animals in it, because I like animals…’ he said.

I couldn’t believe the audacity of this kid!

And I said, ‘Did you know that it is very rude to ask someone to buy you a gift?’

‘Is it? I didn’t know that,’ he said.

‘Well, now you know.’