Saturday, February 16, 2008

Parent of the year? Not so much

The scene: It's early morning. I'm not a morning person. I prefer sleep, or the quiet time when you've just regained consciousness and are lying in a cozy little ball of comforter and dog. I awake to a lovely voice in the distance. It's my wife - who is quite lovely - telling me that our youngest offspring, Noah, is sick and will be staying home today. No surprise there, as he was bottoming out the previous night, the last of all of us to succumb to this nasty cold/virus/ickiness that's already done a couple of cycles through the house.

That's one of the joys of working from home. Child care worries? What child care worries? Just prop the little man up on the couch with a remote control, a stack of DVDs, his Buzz Lightyear comforter and a very sympathetic dog and you're all set.

So just as soon as I get the plan in place, I notice the friendly flashing red light on my BlackBerry. Do I check it before I wake myself up with a glass of juice? Of course I do. Because I'm addicted. And CrackBerry addicts need their little handheld jolt before making the long trip to the kitchen for juice.

It's an interview request. Even better: television. Cool! I love television. It's more fun than...well, having my area rugs steam cleaned. The problem you can see building is this: I'm going to be home alone with an under-the-weather 7-year-old. How can I do an interview?

I quickly discuss my conundrum with my wife. She agrees it makes sense to take him with me if I want to do the interview. Which I do: it's a great topic, a great interviewer and a great producer. A perfect storm of journalistic goodness. Even better, our son thinks it'll be neat to hang out with his dad at the television station.

So when it comes time for the interview, I load my pyjama-clad little man into the wondervan and off we go. He falls asleep a couple of blocks before we get to the TV station ( London's A Channel), but is easily awoken when we get in. Dwayne meets us at the front and takes us in. I can see his eyebrows go up at the sight of a kid in skateboard-themed jammy bottoms and a big winter hat with ear flaps, holding his dad's hand and trying not to trip as he takes in the wonder of this place. But Dwayne doesn't skip a beat, introducing himself to Noah and inviting him into the control room to watch me as I get set up in the adjacent studio.

It doesn't take long for me to do the interview - it rocked! - and thank Dwayne for being so generous with our son. Noah seems to forget that he's sick as he happily parades back down the long hall and down the stairs into the lobby. We're surrounded by decades of local television memorabilia: posters, old cameras, and probably an unseen skeleton or two. He asks to sit in the waiting area for a minute so we can "look around at all the cool stuff." I take his picture to remember the moment. I think he'll remember this even without the photo. I know I will.

Your turn: Unexpectedly memorable hanging around experiences with Mom or Dad. Please discuss.

One more thing: Almost forgot...I couldn't locate the link to the interview because it seems to have expired from Google's cache. But I did find the interview I did with Kim Parlee for BNN's Outlook 2008 program. We spoke about RIM's prospects in the coming year. Click on this link only if you're not afraid of seeing my hideous form in living color.


utenzi said...

Michele sent me over, Carmi. Hi!

I don't know about memorable with a capital "M" but I remember going out with my Dad on sales calls when I was a kid. He was frequently out driving from place to place so he'd be the logical one to pick up my brother or I if we were somewhere out of the way. Didn't happen that often since back then kids didn't have all the activities they engage in today--which is probably why those occasional sales calls stick out in my mind.

Shephard said...

I saw the interview.
It's funny how photos and videos can give you a different look or feel. You seem younger on video, I think. :)

And I love the tie. :)
Hope your little one is feeling better soon.

Star said...

I think it's awesome you took hm with you. That was probably the best sick day ever. My husband got a last minute call for a job interview once. He happened to be home that day with our youngest who was pre-school age. SInce it was last moment he felt no compunction about taking her along. He did get the job offer.

rashbre said...

Great account of an interesting day, which develops from what could have been a problem into something quite wonderful. Very positive.


kenju said...

I clicked on the link, but I couldn't find where to click for the interview, Carmi. I'm hopeless.

I remember going with my mom to hang around a building where a group she belonged to was getting ready for meetings and dinners. I enjoyed eaves-dropping on the women's conversations. Mom didn't have a job, so that was not an option for me. Daddy's job didn't allow children to tag along.

David said...

family life, you all do it well.
here from michele ( and feeling so much better this weekend)

Bob-kat said...

I think that visit to the Tv studio was the best tonic for your young lad, much more fun than chicken soup and what's more it made him happy adn we all know that being happy bolsters the immune system :)

I cannot think of any similar examples from my childhood. There was much waiting around but mostly for doctors appointments ad similar!

Now I'm gonna check out your video :)

PI said...

Carmi: I had the same problem as Judy with the link. Carmi what have you got on your head in your profile photo? It could be anything.
As a child my naughty auntie took me with her to meet a forbidden boy friend and my finger was inadvertantly trapped in the car door. As we had accepted a lift (forbidden)I was instructed to tell Grandma I had scraped it against a wall. In spite of the pain I didn't grass on her.
Hi from Michele.

Heidi said...

lying in a cozy little ball of comforter and dog

I loved that image! And the cute little story of having your little man in tow.

My brother and I were always along with our pop at work... he worked in the school system (audio visual director for the entire system) and we saw him all the time. There were a lot of perks to that, let me tell ya!

Sandy said...

You are one cool dad!

My dad spent about 40 years working for the same pharmaceutical giant. In the early days (read: pre-merger) it was a family owned-family focused company. The campus my dad worked out at a park for employee kids and a summer camp. I went every summer for a week making the long hour commute with my father. I spent most of my day in camp, but I don't think I'll ever forget those rides, lunch breaks, etc.

Hope Noah's feeling better!

Joy T. said...

I can just picture a little one in pajama's watching his dad give a great interview. So cool. You really can't get any better then that. I say you get Parent of the Year based on originality alone for that sick day.