A few weeks ago, Harlow led me to a sign-up sheet outside her classroom. It was for Career Day in Harlow’s class. Each kid could have one or both parents come in to tell the class about what they do for a living. Harlow wanted me to to sign up, obviously. I wrote my name down but with a slight hesitation. It’s complicated to explain blogging to a group of kindergarteners.
I tried to do it when Mazzy was in kindergarten but ended up turning it into a toy review. Someone had sent me a new toy to write about and I gave it to the kids in her class to see what they thought of it. It went over really well! But I have no idea if they truly understood what I do for a living.
Harlow’s teacher wanted the parents to talk about their jobs and show pictures or videos if necessary, instead of creating an activity, so I thought about how I would explain. In the past few years, being a blogger has become more and more about social media and that’s not exactly a concept you even want to introduce to a bunch of five and six-year-olds.
I could just see them reporting back to their moms and dads about what they learned in school.
“Did you know you can make money by posting a picture of your breakfast cereal to Instagram?”
“Who told you about Instagram, Timmy?”
After a few days of mulling over different approaches, I decided to ask someone I trusted for advice.
“Hey Harlow… When I come into class to talk about my job, what would you like me to talk about?”
She didn’t hesitate. She ran over to side table, picked up a yellow book with some burnt toast on the cover and held it up high. “YOUR BOOK!!!!!!”
Oh, that’s right. I’m a published author now! That’s something you can go home and tell your parents about!
I also realized that my blog content lately (the posts about kid lit recommendations, family travel experiences and things to do with your kids in NYC) make it much easier to explain your purpose to a class of kindergarteners, than say… posts about Harlow napping and potty training.
On the morning of Career Day, Harlow brought my book into school. She was so proud. She took it into the classroom and showed all of her friends. I watched as they flipped through the book and Harlow pointed out which pictures were of her and which ones were of Mazzy. Then one boy started reading the text out loud and I got nervous.
“You wrote a book?!” Harlow’s teacher said to me.
“Uhhhh…yes! But, not all the language is kid-appropriate. I would keep it away from the kids who can actually read.”
Harlow asked if she could keep the book for the whole day and her teacher told me it was fine. Then I left to come back at my scheduled time.
When I arrived back at the school, Mike surprised me by being there too. “I thought you didn’t want to do career day,” I said. When I had brought it up weeks ago, Mike told me that and he had no idea what he would talk about. I think his exact words were, “My job is too boring to present to the kids.” I didn’t argue. I always say that Mike has one of those Chandler Bing jobs that nobody can really explain.
“I wanted to surprise Harlow,” he told me.
Harlow was indeed surprised and so excited to see us both. We all sat down in front of the class together. Harlow introduced us. “This is my mom! She wrote a book!!!” She held up the book again. “I’m in it!!!” She opened up the book to show them.
“What’s the book about?” the kids asked.
I told them that it was a book about parenting for new moms and dads, which was entertaining and gave some helpful tips.
“Can you read some of it to us?” they asked.
Ummm….I turned to the chapter about picky eating.
“Are any of you guys picky eaters?”
“What’s a picky eater???”
I explained that Harlow likes pasta but not with sauce. And Mazzy won’t touch cheese. And neither of them will go anywhere near brussel sprouts. The kids all nodded their heads. They understood. Then I read them some of the Picky Eaters Club captions. That got a big response. Kindergarteners think other kids’ picky eating habits are HILARIOUS.
Next, I showed them my website, which I had the teacher pull up on the smart board. I explained to them that I made a lot of recommendations to other parents about where to travel, what to read and where to go in New York City with your kids. The first post at the top of my blog was a picture of Harlow eating a rainbow cake push-pop with a rainbow wall behind her.
“WHERE IS THAT????” the kids wanted to know.
“Oh! That’s Flour Shop on the Lower East Side. It’s new! We were invited there to taste their cakes. We liked them a lot so I recommended it to the people who read my blog.”
“I WANT TO GO THERE!!!!”
Then I pulled up a post about children’s books. “Did you guys learn about Black History Month last month?”
“Well, here is a list of books that I recommended for other parents to teach their kids about Black History too.”
The kids pointed and called out the books on the list that they had read.
“You know what I can do? I can write a post about all of your favorite books! Let’s go around the room and everybody can tell me their favorite book and then I’ll write a post with all of your recommendations.”
One kids raised his hand. “The Book with No Pictures!”
“Oh, we love that book!”
Then five more kids said Star Wars (which, is that even a book?) and three more kids said Fancy Nancy and my post went down the tubes.
“I know my favorite book!!!” Harlow screamed. She held it up again. “THE MOMMY SHORTS BOOK!!!!!!!”
Ohmygod, I honestly love that kid to bits.
Then Harlow’s teacher cut in. “We only have five more minutes left. Would Mike like to explain his job?”
Mike talked about how he worked for a really big company with lots of cubicles inside. He pulled up a picture of his desk. Then a picture of the entire floor.
“Hundreds of people work on this floor. There is a person that sits in each and every little cube.”
“And this is the best part. This is the wall of snacks.”
A wall of plexiglass bins hanging on white tile filled the smart board. The bins were filled with chocolate pretzels, nuts, jelly beans, and more.
Mike continued, “You can eat them whenever you want and they are all FREE.”
I watched as all the kids’ jaws dropped.
Then Career Day was over and we had to say goodbye to Harlow, her teachers and her class. “Bye, everyone!”
“BYEEE!!!” they yelled back.
Later that day, I was in a taxi with Harlow coming home from school.
“Mom, can I tell you something?”
“Daddy’s job is kind of exciting, isn’t it?”
Yes, Harlow. Yes, it is.