The Loh Life

Freeway Fliers, Part One: Very Young Interns

Sandra Tsing Loh is busy on the road.

There’s been much buzz about Anne-Marie Slaughter’s recent COVER piece in the Atlantic. The former White House STAFFER ARGUED that contrary to what we thought, women cannot have it all. Which is to say, we CANNOT have both a blazing career and enough TIME to mother our kids.

Of course, Slaughter really DID have a blazing career, Director of Policy Planning for Hillary Clinton, in the Obama Administration. I’m not enough of a policy wonk to know what this IMPRESSIVE-sounding job entails, but I know it’s definitely NOT something you can do from HOME in your sweatpants.

I myself DO work from home in my sweatpants, writing on my laptop, OR I am working from my car, talking to EDITORS on the phone.

I am also helping take care of my 91 year old dad in Malibu.

Further, this summer, it fell to ME to helm the activities of not just my own children, but for a while their three cousins. We’re talking five kids in a minivan, from ages 10 to 15. While I. . . drive to my dad’s in Malibu and. . . talk to my editors on the phone.

But NOTE to Anne-Marie Slaughter -- in the middle of this mishmash, I discovered a beautiful thing! For a few minutes at a time, I WAS having it all!

Turns out kids sitting in passenger’s seats LOVE to act as office assistants, particularly if it means they can put their greasy fingers all over your iPhone.

FINALLY, I had voice COMMAND capability while driving. “Madeline? Okay. Pull up the email with the thing. Go to maps. Type the address. Hit ‘Route.’ What is it? 22 hours? No no no. That’s if we were walking, you have to put it on ‘auto.’ Now go to contacts, pull up my boss. Whoops. Too fast! Earphone! Earphone! Take my coffee!”

Isn’t that great? These kids are LEARNING valuable SKILLS, and you don’t have to PAY them anything!

And mixing the personal and professional with your children has other advantages. My 11 year old was FIXATED on taking circus classes this summer -- because of her recently stated CAREER plan of becoming a contortionist with the Cirque du Soleil by age 14 -- Which is why I need to keep her in the PASSENGER’S seat of my CAR transfixed by my iPhone until she is 35 --

“Circus classes?” I ask her. “You’re going to have to type up a grant proposal and seek some major funding. And give me a bite of your bagel to expedite processing.”

NEXT WEEK: Very Young Migrant Farm Workers.


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