I wrote the story “So much space” that ran on the front page of last week’s Observer while someone tickled my toes. 

Actually, it wasn’t really tickling so much as yet another attempt to get my attention. Henry, my 2-year-old, was curious as to why I was sitting next to his Thomas the Tank Engine table but not playing along. It was tempting, but there was story editing to do. 

That same day, I built several of last week’s Observer pages on my laptop while feeding my 1-year-old daughter, Nancy, Ritz crackers and banana pieces. 

She, like my wife, was home sick with a stomach bug on Monday — the day we build this paper each week — and, due to that, I was working from home playing the roles of nurse, newspaper paginator, writer, play buddy and spouse.  It was challenging, but I know I am far from alone in that scenario. 

The dynamic of work — indeed, the very word itself — seems to have been turned on its top throughout the past two years. The value of a work/life balance has never been more in the forefront, at least to my family. 

A flexible schedule and the ability to work from home often has come in handy. And with two kids under 3, unpredictability is … predictable. 

So, as I wrote headlines last week, Nancy made a valiant effort to fight a nap (she won). And Henry, who has recently begun sleeping in a “big-boy bed,” decided he’d rather pound on his walls than take a rest. 

But the paper got done. It always gets done. And my hope is you, the reader, are none the wiser as to where the pages are made. Whether my laptop is sitting on my kitchen counter as I make blue box mac and cheese or on my desk at the office, I believe the product we create reflects none of that turbulence. If it does, let us know. 

But it’s also important to not apologize for who you are. I’m a dad. But I’m also a newspaper editor. Sometimes at the same time. 

I write about this dynamic not to seek sympathy or brag about being a multi-tasker. We all can do that when put in such a position. 

The point I want to make is this: Your hometown newspaper is put together by people — Kate, Hedda, Wendy, Alicia, Ross, Hayden, Erin, Vickie, Kelly, Trevis,Nancy, Elizabeth, Joanne, me, our many columnists and contributors. One of the values I see in that is, as humans, we need each other. I imagine the same can be said in many other lines of work. We all come with vulnerabilities, but we also come together and put together a product we hope you enjoy reading each week.

Multiple times throughout the day while at home, I’d send emails apologizing for something not being done on time, and the response would be one of compassion and understanding of my situation. That kept me motivated to finish the job.

That is the kind of work environment that is both healthy and necessary. At a small business (although I’d argue everywhere), treating co-workers as humans — and understanding their lives — is important. It builds trust and creates an essence of team. Our common goal is these pages, and our passion for the craft (I hope) can be seen among the words and photos. 

While sitting in our basement with Henry, I was editing the Word document in which we save our “briefly” stories that appear in the paper. Suddenly, Nancy started crying upstairs, so I ran to see what was going on. I set my laptop on the table and dashed up the stairs. 

When I returned, the headline that once read “Sellnau sworn in as new Clinton County Deputy” had changed to  “Sellnau sworn in a fadsq wg5 dafdascF 44444444fc3q4rngv fairewwq s new Clinton County Deputy.”

Going forward, will I blame any typos that mistakenly print in The Observer on my toddler? No. But is it tempting? You betcha.