You've got to be kidding

Jul 28 2006 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Every summer, vast numbers of parents are plunged into a childcare crisis –

their kids are on holiday, and they are not. But why can't they take their children into the office, and would it really be so bad if they did, asks Tim Dowling in the Guardian.

What's the worst that could happen? After all, you are "only" planning on bringing 17 children, ranging in age from two to 15, into the office from morning till deadline?

"On the appointed day things begin well, despite the fact that the first use of the F-word in front of impressionable toddlers comes exactly three minutes in, and is followed by a fairly comprehensive demonstration of its conjugation," starts Dowling.

"Fairly early on my son Will, 7, decides to put himself in contention for the title of Child Most Likely to Ensure That This Experiment Is Not an Unqualified Success. He finds a box containing a pair of Moon Shoes – 'mini-sized trampolines for your feet' – straps them on and bounces around the room, falling over and smashing into furniture."

What becomes clear is that there is a good reason why this isn't the norm in offices up and down the country – it's not that the children will get bored, it's that the parents will start to crack, seriously.

As Dowling says: "The children all ended the day on a high note (except for mine; I shouted at them for fighting on the bus) and everyone agreed that this bold experiment in work-life co-mingling had been such a grand success that it will never need to be repeated ever, ever again."

The Guardian | Kids at work