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05:05 pm: STOP!
After some, er, conflict*, I realized I have to make some changes to my work-life situation.

I run one super-critical, everyone-in-the-company-attending meeting a month. That meeting was Friday morning.

Teddy understands - to the extent any four-year-old understands anything of the sort - that he cannot interrupt when I'm in a meeting, that he has to be quiet, that he has to go to Daddy if he needs something while I'm busy with work.

And yet last Friday, for the second time (the first was last summer, before we moved), he had a complete meltdown during the meeting. And Peter had his meltdown for the rest of the day. He was completely overwhelmed by the whole situation. He was literally shaking from the stress of trying to keep meltdown-child from helping me lose my job or something (not that I'd lose my job, but it would be Very Bad Indeed if the meeting had been disrupted).

While I'm not completely at fault, I was definitely responsible for a couple of major contributing factors: I stayed up way too late the night before (doing the first rendition of the same meeting, with employees from the other side of the world) and thus let everyone sleep in that morning (meaning that Peter and Teddy weren't out of the house for the meeting, as was planned), and I have neglected to set firm boundaries with Teddy on office stuff.

Much of the time, it's ok if Teddy's in my office while I'm working. He's very good about sitting quietly and doing some sort of craft project or reading or playing with cars or whatever. Peter's still the primary caregiver, but I've so enjoyed this quiet time (sort of) together that I've allowed Teddy to stay in the office even when he's being too noisy. I've been clinging with all my might to these precious times with him.


So Friday night during retail therapy (for me and Teddy; Peter got time alone at home to breathe), I bought a hook and eye for the office door. This weekend, I printed out a big STOP sign, and today we implemented it. I didn't have any meetings for which Teddy needed to be out, but I put up the sign anyway when I was doing some heads-down research.

And it worked like a charm.


...and next month, I'm not going to give out any time-critical assignments that I then feel compelled to read until midnight (and when I wake up to go to the loo at 3:00 am).

* So much nicer than rip-roaring down-and-out fights, isn't it?

p.s. In other important news: I CAN BREATHE THROUGH MY NOSE. For the first time in weeks? months? this winter? I can breathe!

Current Location: Longmeadow
Current Mood: relievedrelieved


Date:March 3rd, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC)


That sounds like a very pleasant resolution to the problem! (And to breathing clearly!) It's sp nice to have common-sense solutions. Again, congratulations!

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Date:March 3rd, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)


I can't quite believe it took a crisis for me to figure it out, but :shrug: oh well!
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Date:March 10th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)

Stop sign

Brilliant and glad it worked. I'm filing this away for when I need to do something similar which I am sure will happen!
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Date:March 11th, 2009 11:32 am (UTC)

Re: Stop sign

It has been amazingly effective. Teddy takes it very seriously. I decided to leave the sign on the door yesterday because the tape was losing all its stickiness. Teddy checked over and over again to make sure it was ok to come in, though the door was wide open and I was inviting him in.

Peter and I both had to reassure him that the sign only counts when the door is closed.
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