Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On taking a 4-year-old to work

When I agreed to take my granddaughter Cassie to work with me yesterday I wasn't really sure how things would go, but I agreed to do it anyway. It was a necessity that someone care for her and it seemed like a good idea it be me. She is my little angel girl. She and grandma always have fun together, and she was so excited to be loaded into my car. Tess says I should have seen her face, she was grinning from ear to ear, and saying, "I go grandma's work."

The wheelchair and diaper bag and all the food and drinks for a small army had already been loaded up before I went to get her. We live about a half a block apart, but with her being a paraplegic it is far enough to need to drive there.

All the way to the antique shop / mall, she kept saying, "Grandma, we going you work?" And I would say, "Yes, Cassie, we are going to my work. The antique mall." She would say, "We not going to you house?" And I would reply, "Nope, Grandma has to go to work and you are going with me." It was kind of a monotonous conversation, but I don't think she really believed her mom when she told her she was going to work with me.

Once we arrived I got her wheelchair out and put her in it, we "walked" around to the front of the building and unlocked the front door. I told her we needed to turn on the lights and then go to the back door and bring in our things. She has been here many times before, just not with her wheelchair for so long a time. She led me to the back door and I loaded in all our things and put them in the kitchen.

I told her I thought there was a little table in the back that would fit her and her chair, and sure enough it was exactly the right size for her wheels to go between the legs of, and just high enough, too. She sat next to me at her "desk" and colored while I did the computer work I needed to do. She was so good, and funny, and entertaining. She charmed all the customers who came in, and played games with a young man who lives up the hill behind the shop. I think they both enjoyed the hide and seek, and oooh, the monster is chasing me games.

She was pretty timid about going very far in the shop when she first arrived, but by the end of the day was "running" to the back door and down the back aisle and over the "hill" (which is actually a big bump in the carpet, about 10 feet long). It made her chair go faster when she went over it, so she really enjoyed it.

She also wanted to visit my friend, Tammy, who works in the adjacent shop. And was really excited when she got to go over to see her. Friends came in to visit and she snuggled our friend Dora for a long time, and gave everyone hugs before they left.

She played with all the little hot wheels cars in our toy basket, and colored an entire coloring book with her new crayons. She had a lot of fun, kept me entertained all day, made me laugh a lot, and gave me a lot of love. In fact she had so much fun she was disappointed when we had to go home. I am sure she will be back and spend the day with me again some time.

I slept very well last night, I'm sure you know why.

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