My daughter just had her first birthday this month. She is my first child. I began thinking about being a parent as though it is being an employer. What if my children are my employees? If I had employees in business I would likely hire them into a probationary phase and then conduct reviews on their progress and performance, culminating in a final review to end their probation and welcome them into regular employee status. I imagined what this process would look like if conducted with an infant. Here’s what I cam up with…
Department: Brodie Family
Review phase: One year (end of probation)
For the following areas mark as – exceeds expectation, meets expectation, or fails to meet expectation (include comments as necessary):
Attitude towards work: Exceeds expectation. Megan is a cheerful baby who very rarely cries. She seems to enjoy being a baby and does it quite well. She is frequently praised by others for her performance as a baby.
Knowledge: Exceeds expectations. As far as babies go, Megan seems to know all that she needs to know. She wants to eat whatever she sees mommy and daddy eat; she is drawn towards sharp, hot, and otherwise dangerous objects with a seemingly supernatural sense; she knows that anything just out of her reach is desirable; she knows that the purpose of the edge of the bed, the top of the stairs or an open bathroom door is for her to get near it, pause, look at us, and then wait for us to run over to pick her up.
Skills: Exceeds expectations, except for talking. Megan is adept at crawling, walking, holding a pen like an adult, fighting diaper changes, getting coins into her mouth and making all women speak at levels two octaves higher than normal. We would like to see some more development in the speech area; however, more often than seems random, she does respond to questions with a seemingly appropriate verbal sound. For example, when asked if she wanted water she responded “nay-nay” and when offered a cracker “uh-huh.”
Ability: Meet expectations. Megan is able to walk now, but she still isn’t able to carry things for us yet. She needs to be carried up and down stairs. Some mornings when asked to go downstairs and make breakfast for us she just laughs, knowing she is completely incapable of completing the task. She meets the expectations of being a baby, but if she could make breakfast for us it’d be even better.
Team player: Exceeds expectations. Megan gets along well with others. She doesn’t cry when handed off to someone. She hugs other little children more frequently than she sticks her fingers in their eyes, usually. She is able to share as well as can be expected for a person whose developmental stage prevents her from being able to see other children as people rather than objects.
Summary: Megan exceeds expectations for being a baby; however, after one year of employment she still has a lot of room for improvement. Considering how far she has come in the last year, we will give her a break on what she still is unable to do. Our family is a non-profit organization, so immediate results aren’t as important. The most important factor is that we accomplish our purpose as a family, and Megan is doing exceptionally well for her part.