On-the-Job Training

On-the-Job Training

From Chicken Soup for Every Mom's Soul

On-the-Job Training

We admire the other fellow more after we have tried to do his job.

La Rochefoucauld

After being on the mommy track for several years, I decided to test the corporate waters and check out the going rate for all the volunteer work I’ve been doing at home. Translation: I had a bad week and the grass was looking much greener on the other side of the laundry basket. What started as a casual perusal of the local want ads quickly evolved into an interview, and I suddenly needed to update my resume. To include all that I’ve accomplished in my years at home, naturally, I highlighted the following:

Fluent in Several Languages. Studied Baby-ese, eventually attaining the ability to switch back and forth from this language to Big People Talk with about 75 percent success rate. Current position finds me deciphering shrugs, gestures and other nonverbal communication used by my preteens to answer the questions “Where are you going?” and “Do you have homework?” Presently involved in teaching these same children English as a Second Language.

Peacemaker. Experience rivaling that of Madeleine Albright. Breaking up drag-outs between three-year-old twins puts me in contention for the Nobel Peace Prize. Have gone through the “share” and “be nice” routine so often that the Barney show could put me on retainer through the year 2025.

Race Car/Stunt Driver. Accomplished in getting from preschool to the dental office to band lessons to basketball practice quicker than one lap of the Indy 500. Only adult in the house with ability to locate various gas stations in town.

Illusionist. Perform more sleight-of-hand and magic acts than David Copperfield at a gig in Vegas. Possess extraordinary home-budgeting skills using this technique. Also able to make broken cookies whole again, re-assemble dilapidated science-fair projects and fit a size-twelve body into size-ten jeans for a brief period of time.

Child Psychologist. Firsthand experience with various psychoses of children. Developed theory that bedtime brings about increased activity in young children measurable in direct proportion to fatigue of parent. Author of the thesis entitled “Because I Said So as the Only Explanation to the Question ‘Why?’”

Clairvoyant. Have the uncanny ability to see things even though they are not there. Strengths include finding spouse’s car keys, kids’ library books, little hands in the cookie jar. Attribute this talent to the fact that I do, indeed, have eyes in the back of my head.

Scholar. Have become proficient in solving fifth-grade word problems involving trains leaving stations at varying speeds, memorization of all the Arthur books ever written, and deciphering the alphabet as it can only be recited by three-year-olds (i.e. the often used “Elmo-and-a-pea” for the middle five letters). Skilled in being successfully quizzed in these areas upon demand so as not to lessen my credibility with children. Can spell hieroglyphics quicker than my own name, have constructed numerous Iroquois villages out of clay and witnessed the miracle of celery stalks turning blue in colored water over thirty-seven times.

Hobbies. Dabbled in cooking, cleaning and laundry in spare time.

I ended up not changing my employment status, mainly because I couldn’t afford to replace me. If I wait a few years before confronting corporate America again, I should have no problem keeping my resume fresh with all the experience I’m getting. I only hope I don’t become overqualified.

Karen Trevor

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