I don’t know why the children’s librarian thinks it is a good idea to stack books on angle on top of the short book shelves. Yes, it most definitely highlights some titles that I may not have otherwise seen, pulling them from the crammed spaces where they usually live, but seriously, this is not a good idea. The shelves, as I said, are shorter. Child sized if you will. Short enough where my 6-year-old can see over them, and short enough for my 3-year-old to be able to reach the top with her gangly and wild arms, to “just look at this one!”, inevitably on the end where one wrong move sends these precariously lined books tumbling, one after the other domino style, until they are all lying flat.
I look around the library; mortified. It would appear though, that nobody has seen what just happened. Phew. I start picking up books just in time for Liv to make it to another shelf. It seems like slow motion as I whisperscream “Noooooooo!” and then there go all the books from another shelf. And another after that. And as I corral her on the carpeted area so I can clean up a huge mess, she notices that the carpet has letters on it! In a circle pattern! So she begins to jump from letter to letter, calling them out loudly, exclaiming “I! Know! My! ABCs!” over and over again. I hastily grab her and carry her to the grown up books, as we like to call them and I start looking around. I’m frazzled and I can’t remember what I’ve come for, so I start running through some author names in my head. Jennifer Weiner, I conclude, is the mood I am in. I put Olivia down, and then Lucy starts to read what I am looking at. “How can someone be good in bed, Mom?”, Lucy asks loudly, “Is that like when I get sent to bed for not behaving?” My face is red. I am dying. “and is her name Wiener???”
It is clearly time to leave. Lucy is in line ahead of me; proud to be checking out books with her very own library card for the second time. She is a pro, placing them on the counter and listening intently when she is told the due dates. “My mom is getting a book about wieners”, she tells the librarian, who raises an eyebrow and stares at me. Christ. I am in the line where a high school volunteer is working, and Liv, who hasn’t tried my patience enough, starts pulling on the back pockets of my jeans. She giggles and begins swaying from side to side, enjoying the ride my ass is giving her. And then, right there in the library checkout line, my pants are no longer on my waist. No, that can’t be right, but in fact, it is. My 3-year-old has pantsed me in the library. Well thanks Jesus for long cardigans, I guess. I am still not at the counter, so I cannot put my books down without bending over, and we know that’s not happening, so I maneuver my pants back up over my waist with one hand, while Liv decides to crawl in between my legs on the floor. At this moment, what with the one handed wriggling and the book holding, I lose my footing, and start to compensate so I don’t end up on the floor with my ass hanging out. This of course is when I step right on Olivia’s thigh. She is wailing now, and screaming that her mommy stepped right on her, just as it is finally our turn at the counter. It is all I can do to stand in line, acting cool, calm and collected as the older gentleman behind me does his best to stifle his snickers.
Neither of the girls thinks anything is out of the ordinary as we get in the van and drive off in to the sunset even though I am tight-lipped and pissy. Why would they? And of course, Lucy delights in telling her father all about my wiener book, and stepping on Olivia over dinner. Hub just glances at me, and shakes his head, already knowing the full story.
As I’m tucking the girls in at bedtime, Liv tells me what a great time she had with me at the library today. Wasn’t it funny when all those books fell? I suppose it was, I tell her, finally able to smile about it.
And in hindsight now, as I am writing about it, it was. (Sort of)