Student and Registry Services


Tales of working from home: 2-year-olds

15 May 2020

We'd love to hear from SRS colleagues about your experiences working from home. Please send any stories or pictures to jamie.middleton@ucl.ac.uk.


Snippets from sharing an office with a 2-year-old

One saving grace about the current working from home arrangement is that my new ‘’office’’ (i.e. dining room) has doors. One door into the hallway and the rest of the house and one door into the garden, the source of all fresh air and freedoms at present.  Whilst the door into the garden is often open, I try not to operate an open-door policy for the rest of the house as I find when I do, the day often provides little diversions and incidents that I could never have planned for or anticipated. That said, my small co-worker (my two-year old daughter Primrose) doesn’t take too kindly to being shut away from what she perceives to be ‘’all the action’’ of UCL programme approval and often uses her Houdini like skills to gain entry to the PMAP grotto. 

Day One

This juggling act of working full time and looking after a small child is going to be a bit stressful, but we’ve got this.

Day Twenteen

This morning my co-worker cried like it was the end of days because she couldn’t cuddle a bumble bee at the window. She wailed so hard she broke wind and startled herself into silence. The tears continued when she was told she also couldn’t cuddle her ‘’boh off’’ [despite it having a personality of its own]. 
Within half an hour she was golloping raisins, declaring gleefully that she was ‘’eating all the bees’’. 

Day Threety Four

Today, unannounced, my co-worker burst into the office, walked over to my side, gently tilted her head and softly enquired, ‘’You alwight Babes?’’ as she gently patted my knee. 
Seemingly, we’ve cultivated a little Peggy Mitchell whilst on lockdown. 

Day Onedred

This afternoon, whilst I was in a Teams meeting, my co-worker got her hands on a contraband Fruit Shoot and, unable to contain her excitement, sprayed that bugger all over the ‘’office’’ like she’d just won the FA Cup Final.

Day Fumfty Fumpf

Overheard conversation coming from the ‘’break out’’ room next door……
My Co-Manager to my co-worker:  Are you doing a poo?
Co-worker (in-house, potty training at present):  No!
C-M, not overly reassured:  Are you sure?
C-W, now in an arm-waving rage:  SHURE!
C-M, unconvinced:  What can I smell then?   [It’s like living with Columbo some days]
C-W, matter of factly:  I boh-ed off.
Simultaneously, the cat darts out the room and upstairs, C-M calls out for back up and C-W, sighs philosophically: Sohree
[Suddenly I have a really important Teams meeting to be in….]

Young girl holding flowers

I had an impromptu 11am meeting with my co-worker who had some very pressing matters to share. A fistful of wild, weedy flowers offered from the garden. A lovely gift, very happily accepted.

At the moment  I am trying to manage my expectations of what is and isn’t possible, both at work and at home. Some days I fail at this, but other days I don’t. Other days I am able to make some quick wins, or take joy in the smallest and most inconsequential of things, or take stock of what is and isn’t important. To date, I have met work deadlines and tried to alleviate the work of others, where possible, and my daughter is still well, content and protected from the immense woe and worries of the outside world. I’ll take that for now. 

Until we are all together again, I wish you and yours a healthy and a safe space to be, where, in the absence of a bouquet of blooms, you are able to find (or be handed) the wildflowers.

Eleanor Millan
Senior Policy Advisor