A Day at the Library

Well, Saturday did get much better after my losses. My wife had a gift certificate to a pottery place where you pick out a piece of pottery, decorate it, and then the fire it for you. She’s an artist, so she loves this type of thing. While she was doing that, I was to be in charge of our daughter again. This time we went to the library.

The library in our area (a college town) is not like your stereotypical library. It’s more than just rows and rows of books (not that it would be a bad thing). At least the kid’s section is not like that. Oh yes, there is a separate area just for children. This is a good thing as the kids are allowed to be in a place filled with books, without having to be told “be quiet!” every five seconds. The kid’s section also has toys such as a huge “Thomas the Tank Engine” playset, a castle playset, and several puzzles and games. This place on a Saturday afternoon can best be described as between chaotic and apocalyptic, with toys and kids strewn across the floor, running around with their arms in the air. Good times.

My daughter and I did have a blast, though I think she viewed me less as “Dadda”, and more as some guy she reluctantly allowed to follow her around, like some sort of Chaperone that she would rather ditch, just so she could then have some real fun. I would point out a book to her and she would say “No sank you Dadda” or just ignore me. She was more interested in visiting the foot tall Cat in the Hat stuffed animal (‘Cat Hat’) whom she would cuddle up to and read stories to while sitting on a window seat that overlooked town and the traffic below.

We spent about two hours in the library. I had to change her diaper once due to what we call a “poopie”. It was quite an experience changing her while she was standing up in one of the stalls in the men’s room, all the while trying to make sure she didn’t touch anything. I made it through unscathed, but just barely.

One incident that did annoy me a bit was when I brought my daughter into the common area of the library, just inside the entrance where patrons return and check out books, to let her have a drink of her grape juice. I did this because there is a “no drinks” policy posted in the areas that house the books. While we were standing there, one of the ladies asked if we needed any help. I said no thanks, and that I’m letting my daughter have a drink. Then I tried to make small talk. The lady basically ignored me and said pointing to the entrance, “Next time, you might want to do that there.”. I was not about to go out in the unheated area just for my daughter to get a drink from her near spill proof sippy cup. Let me re-iterate that there WERE NO BOOKS where we were standing. The lady just wanted to enforce her arbitrary interpretation of the rules. Oh well.

Anyhow, I had a great time with my daughter, even if I didn’t get to look at any books. I was exhausted when my wife returned from the pottery place, but it was definitely a fun time.

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8 thoughts on “A Day at the Library

  1. Arbitrary and traditional rules are how librarians order their existence. How else could they be able to categorize things in the Dewey system, or even separate fiction from non-fiction? Not that this is any excuse for being a pain in the neck.

  2. It sounds like you had a blast with your little one! What a great library (shame about the drink police though). Your daughter sounds like she knows her own mind! I love that she calls you ‘Dadda’ – very cute! Glad your bad day improved. 🙂

  3. Geesh– you must’ve met Madam Pince! Clearly, she never had kids. I can only imagine the contortions you went through to change the diaper that way :D– I’m so glad to be past diapers!

  4. caveblogem – 🙂

    Diane – we did have a fun time. my wife tells me she had problems with the same lady, so i guess i shouldn’t feel too bad

    aine – the worst part of the “diaper incident” was that as we were leaving I noticed there was a changing station i hadn’t seen when we were entering the bathroom! oh well

  5. Eeh, I would write a letter of complaint to both the library and council about that horrible librarian. Surely young children are exempt from no eating and no drinking rules? Her attitude is bordering on discriminatory, if you ask me. When Kiko was a very small baby, and we were out during feed times, I actually used to go into our local library and give him his bottle because I could hide behind the shelves and fewer people would give me disapproving looks for bottle feeding. The librarians must have seen me but they never said a word, which I always appreciated. It’s not like I was throwing formula all over the books either, and neither were you with the grape juice!!

    “No sank you, Dadda,” is soooooooooooooooo cute! Kiko *still* won’t say thank you although he proudly announces: “Nice manners!” at irrelevant moments… *sigh*!!

  6. Helen – If I’m that library again, I’ll simply let her drink when she’s thirsty. If she had done more than give me a veiled warning and a bad look, maybe I would complain.

    “Nice manners!” – that’s pretty funny. I’m sure he’ll come around with his manners 🙂

  7. Sounds like you had a lovely time despite the unnecessarily strict librarian (and the poopie incident!). I do part-time work in the library here but that’s just stacking shelves and cataloguing so I’m not one of the ‘shh’ inforcers, and I wouldn’t want to be!

  8. I love going to library children’s sections — they make a real effort to make the library a world of wonder. It is always heartening to see kids enjoying being there. Too bad your library does not have a family bathroom!

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