Every month for about five months in a row, K's school is closed on a random day for staff development. Since I had used up all my accrued vacation for Thanksgiving and we have no backup childcare, I packed up some books, toys, and art supplies for K and he came to work with me.
I skipped my usual early-morning commute and we took our time getting in, walking X to school before catching the bus. K was excited to get on the bus AND the subway, each twice in the same day! We passed no less than four donut shops on the way to work (three of which were the ubiquitous Dunkin'), causing K great distress as he exercised his willpower.
In the office, K charmed everyone he met. Three different people gave him candy. Several people also complimented his outfit -- he had carefully chosen a button-down shirt that matched perfectly with his Spiderman shoes for a professional effect.
I actually managed to get a lot of work done. K sat and read his comic book for a long time, then spent the rest of the morning inventing and drawing an elaborate toy set with 159 different removable parts. We went out to lunch, checked out the statutes in front of the State House, and resisted a few more donuts.
After lunch I put in a few more hours while K drew on my whiteboard, where the Whiteboard Monster (a napkin with a scary monster face) battled pig-riding soldiers by erasing them. Things looked grim when the Whiteboard Monster was joined by reinforcements, but the soldiers ultimately prevailed despite heavy losses on both sides.
K also acquired some Post-It notes. He made two notes that said "K is here" and "K is not here" for my door. Whenever he went out and came back, he changed the sign accordingly. Before leaving for the day, he wrote thank you and goodbye notes to all the people he met, and we went around and delivered them.
I had helped K through his willpower struggles by hinting that I had a surprise snack planned. We were both so full from lunch that he never needed the snack, but at the end of the day he asked if we could get it on the way home. I revealed that the surprise snack was a choice between a donut from Dunkin' and Doritos from the vending machine. This caused even more of an internal struggle, plus some rending of garments and a little dance of frustration and anguish. Finally he picked the donut and warned me, "But don't mention Doritos again!" (He's getting Doritos in his Christmas stocking anyway. It was #2 on his list, between Beyblades and the Batcave.)
On the way home, he said it had been one of the best days of his life. He said he wished he could come to work with me every day instead of going to school. If every day is like this one, I wouldn't mind having him around more often. I laughed a lot more when he was in my office, and I was pretty productive too. I was worried about what to do during his 8-day winter recess, but now I think I'll try bringing him to the office again.