There’s this piece of child-rearing advice that makes perfect sense to me: imagine that you were a 2-year-old. You never get to make your own choices. All day, people say, “no” “don’t” and “do this”. So, you give your kid some sense of control when you give options (pre-packaged options that give the sort of outcome that you want.)

For example, instead of  “Zora, stay in the nursery where Ms. Kathy and the kids are playing so that mama can do some work in her office, ” you say, “Zora, would you like to stay in the nursery and play with Ms. Kathy and the kids or would you like to play in mama’s office while mama works?”

Yep. That didn’t work too well. 45 minutes later we were just ending the complete and total meltdown in which Zora, completely beside herself, was in my office, screaming in quick sucession: “Nursery! Mama’s (h)office! Wanna book! Wanna color! Wanna make coffee (she has a little coffee set in my office)! My nose running! Nursery! Wanna book! Eat eat! My milk! Mama’s (h)office!”

So, I made plans to work on Saturday (since this was clearly not going to work), and scrambled to pull things together to go home.

45 minutes after that, all packed up and ready to go, with my coat on and everything I was sitting on a chair in the outer office because Zora had kicked me out of my office, and was happily, calmly, “working” (as she put it). Turned my radio on. Tapped on my computer. Came out to make photocopies. But, absolutely no mama in the office. Period.

And now, she is pretending to take a nap, and I am pretending that I can’t hear her babbling away because I just need a little snatch of peace.