Today I felt like a cliche for working mothers. I was scheduled to be on a 9am conference call about a problem involving people working in the London office. Due to the math of my commute (1 hour travel time to be in at 9am, 30 minutes travel time to be in at 9:30) I elected to do the call from home and then go in. So there I was with my laptop open in my study, talking on my brand new blackberry, and upstairs my baby was screaming her head off. I was OK with that, she’s been cranky since her shots on Friday, and I knew that she’d been fed recently and that she was safe with Warren looking after her. Then Jomkwan came upstairs, and started asking me if she should take the baby. Normally she takes the baby at 10am, but she obviously hadn’t understood about the change away from daylight savings time over the weekend, so she came up nearly an hour early looking for the baby. So there I was on the phone with a half dozen people and trying to explain as briefly as possible what time it was to Jomkwan while still keeping track of the technical discussion. Jomkwan’s English is of a standard that I normally have to say things three different ways in order to be understood, the Blackberry is brand new and I didn’t know there was a mute button, and Jomkwan had opened the door to my study so that the sound of pissed-off baby was much clearer. I am also the type of person who finds phone calls stressful. It was not a good Monday morning. Jomkwan went away, but she clearly hadn’t understood me because she came back again 20 minutes later. I was still on the phone, and sending her upstairs to Warren for an explanation was not an option as I was pretty sure Warren was not in a fit state to receive her. Again, I had to try to get across to her as briefly as possible what was up while still not being heard by the six guys on the phone and while still keeping track of the current state of foolishness. Margaret was still complaining as Warren had apparently not transformed himself into me in the last 20 minutes. Jomkwan left again, obviously still confused. Finally the call ended, I calmed Margaret down, and I took her to Jomkwan and got to iterate through the explanation of daylight savings time enough that she seemed to understand. Sadly my boss (who was also on the call) revealed when I mentioned it that he had heard Margaret ‘a couple of times’ on the call, but he didn’t seem upset, so all’s well that ends well I guess. I just hope that things will go more smoothly if this sort of thing happens again in the future.