I know that often I appear as though I have been dragged through a hedge backwards. I agree that my one-year-old son has developed something of an obsession with the Harlequin romance rack, and I apologise if you have found ‘Italian Housekeeper, Billionaire Boss’ filed away under Healthy Living. I’m equally sorry for the time my 3-year old sat in a chair next to your children’s librarian while she read, holding a different book under her nose and repeating ‘Not that one. Read this one. Not that one. Read this one.’ Obviously I should have stopped her earlier but I really, really had to nip out to the coffee cart.
I did not give you my pompous look of death (pow!) some weeks ago when you handed my friends and I pamphlets entitled ‘Appropriate Behaviour in The Library for Parents and Children.’
But when you stopped Story Time today to deliver a lecture to the gathered crowd of parents, I felt you had gone just too far. I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know what I would have said had I a) been quick off the mark; b) had the balls or c) didn’t really, really just have to nip out to the coffee cart.
I’d like to address your concerns, one by one.
I cannot hear the librarian read! You are causing a disturbance!
Um, no. It’s possible you’ve spent too long in a bubble where whispering is the norm and a little heated bitching about people writing in margins is as hot as it gets. Four women discussing breastfeeding and nit shampoo is not Girls Gone Wild.
Story Time is not an entertainment service for your children.
Yes! Yes it is! We spend all day with these small people. When you sit on a chair and read them a book, you release us from our duty of care so we can stand up the back and converse with big humans. For many of us, this is the only clear back-forth pattern of information exchange we will enjoy all day, as opposed to a surreal series of words strung together and featuring The Wiggles. Is it entertaining? That’s up for debate. (Shazam!)
Story Time is a professional literary program!
All respect, lady, but singing ‘heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ and then reading a couple of Mem Fox tales doesn’t make you pre-school Harvard. Actually it’s nothing that the parents in your audience aren’t doing four times a day anyway, with funny voices, while simultaneously making dinner, folding washing and listening to a program on Radio National about sun bears, or the financial crisis, or vegetable uprisings – or, well, they can’t really hear the radio. That’s not the point. This is the point: get over yourself. And get the carrot out of your bum. Use some more of my taxes if it needs surgery.