Jay Call: Popcorn Apprentice
If you've been in the shop you've likely seen Brooke and I's baby Jay. He comes to work with us almost everyday (until very recently) and we usually introduce him to customers as "our little popcorn apprentice." Enough people say "It must be so wonderful to be able to bring your kid to work" that I thought I should give everyone a glimpse into the REAL life of our 'popcorn apprentice.'
Rule No. 1: Don't. Touch. Anything.
Jay started walking early, he was like 6 months old or something crazy like that. We were so excited, until we realized that he never stops! He's been running and getting his hands into EVERYTHING ever since. There is never a dull moment.
Anyone with a toddler knows they have an uncanny Jason Bourne-like ability to turn ANYTHING into a weapon of massive self-destruction, but who would imagine that a stapler could be nano-seconds away from putting a hole through Jay's pinky finger? Then comes the part where we work in a commercial kitchen/packaging area. Out in the shop there are kitchen knives, hot kettles, sharp edges on every piece of equipment. Did you know packing tape can be used as a weapon? We do now.
What does this mean? Constant distraction. I can't tell you how many times Brooke has been answering emails with Netflix playing on the same screen, or I'm tuning out a team member telling me about the order we're working on because Jay has been suspiciously quiet (usually meaning he's poured 20 lbs of sugar on himself, which admittedly has got to be every kid's fantasy land).
It may be frustrating, but it's also hilarious. Tipping over a tray of 20 unsealed bags of popcorn or throwing his toy dinosaur into a giant tub of corn syrup is always something that brings a smile to us... After we've cleaned up that is. WAYYYYYYYY after.
Thank Heaven for "Popcorn Uncles"
Meet the makers of our salvation. Our team members are known to Jay as "Uncle Calvin" and "Aunt Rieley" etc. etc. Little did they know when they started their jobs as Popcorn Popper Extraordinairs that they would also be part-time baby sitter/part-time big brother and sister to our little Jay. After a long day, or while on the phone with a client all of Jay's "popcorn fam" know how to take him on a field trip down Main Street, or play next door in the movie theater for 15 minutes.
Seriously, where would we be without this guys?
"Work" is a Relative Term
Sometimes "work" means... playing with blocks, or going to a park on our lunch break. Sometimes it means changing stinky diapers or kissing the "owies" better. THIS is the great part that everyone imagines when they say "Oh your so lucky you get to bring your kid to work!" It's real and on occasion it's absolutely magical.
No One Lives At Our House
One not so magical thing is that our house (and our dog!) gets none of the attention it deserves. Our back lawn is often overgrown and dishes tend to pile up in the sink (assuming we ate at home that week) and our house largely becomes a place where we happen to sleep instead of a home. Spring cleaning?... Do you mean... Going to fairs and trade shows to sell popcorn?
We Wouldn't Have it Any Other Way
With all the bumps and bruises along the way I'm so glad that we have a chance to take Jay to work with us. I'm even MORE grateful now that we've worked out arrangements so we don't HAVE to take him with us every day, but we GET to take him with us often.
Raising a family in a business has always seemed second nature to me. I was raised in the same popcorn shop by Lisa, and at the Kaysville Theater with the rest of my family, but never until now did I see the whole picture of what my parents had to put up with (sorry mom and dad!). The most exciting part is that this is only the beginning, baby no. 2 arrives this August!