Thursday, November 29, 2007

Out of the Mouthes of Babes 1:25pm

Robbie the 5 year old: Mom? Do germs talk?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tis the Season...

Remember that list about the things they don't teach you in library school? Well, I have another item to add to the list. They do not teach you how to talk to kids about Santa.

When I came back to work on Monday, there was a big ol' box on my desk, decorated in Christmas wrapping paper, where kids can drop off their letters to Santa. They're given to a group of women in town who will write back to the kids as Santa. According to the other staff members, this is tradition in town and it usually goes over pretty well. What they failed to tell me was that I would be fielding potentially difficult questions like: "How are they going to get to Santa?" "I already sent my letter to Santa... if I send him more than one, will he get confused?" "Does this go to the fake Santa or the real Santa?" "Miss Katie, do you believe in Santa?"

These questions are causing me a great amount of stress and angst. I don't like answering these questions and I don't know how I'm supposed to answer these questions.

I believed in Jolly Old St. Nick for way longer than societally acceptable. I was an only child, my parents believed it was important for children to believe and they took great lengths to ensure that I would never have any doubts. These lengths included having Santa come while we were at church, using different wrapping paper, making our backyard neighbor dude write the "To Katie, From Santa" slips, and finally having same backyard neighbor dude's wife come over, eat some of the cookies, let the dog out of its crate, open the fireplace doors and put a little bit of cotton ball (i.e. santa's trim!) fuzz on the fireplace door handles. How could I not believe? But once I figured it out (or rather, I started doubting Santa, I figured out that the tooth fairy's dollar bills smelled like my dad's wallet and my parents gave up on all of it), I didn't have to worry about it anymore. I didn't have any little siblings and my little cousins never tried engage me in a Q&A about Santa. This is new territory.

After dealing with three days of this madness, I'm trying my damnedest to just be an overbeliever of Santa and sound as earnest as possible. Also, I've decided that Santa uses the postal service and fake Santas deliver the message to real Santa. Any additional advice?

Monday, November 19, 2007

You're Awful, Awful Good to Look At

In order for this story to work, you need to know that I am utterly horrible at accepting compliments. So, since I cannot accept a compliment to save my life, whenever anyone compliments me, I usually respond using these three tried and true methods:

1) Accept compliment and respond with a fact that makes the compliment less valid. This is my favorite method. Examples: "That's a really nice sweater!" "Thanks! I bought it like five years ago!" OR "That's a pretty necklace!" "Thanks! I bought it at Target! It was really cheap!"

2) Dismiss with an unsavory tidbit. Examples: "You smell really nice" "Oh, thanks but I'm not wearing any perfume. It's probably my hair pomade which I think smells horrible." Or "Katie, your hair looks nice." "Thanks, I took a bath instead of a shower and I didn't have time to wash my hair so it's probably just the dirty bathwater hair effect." (And yes, I've actually said these things.)

3) Laugh sarcastically, thus dismissing the compliment. "You have the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen." "HA! Hahahahahahaha!" "It's just so sexy when a girl is a designated driver" (I'm not making that one up) "HAhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha." "When I walked into the bar and saw your beautiful face, I knew you were someone I needed to talk to." "HA! *rolls eyes*" These compliments are ridiculous and obviously insincere; how can you not laugh? Generally, number #3 is only used in a slimy bar setting while talking to icky, button down shirt wearing men. However, I had to bust out tactic #3 at work today. While I was talking to a performer for the summer reading program who had visited our library last summer, he told me that I was the most marvelous children's librarian he had ever met and that I was probably the top children's librarian in the nation! I was witty and well spoken and professional and kind! I laughed, pretty loudly. And I think he was slightly put off. But I had to! This dude met me in my first month of work when I was all twitchy and worried and I spoke to him for 15 minutes tops. And! When we ended our conversation, he told me "Nancy, it was great speaking with you." Nancy is another woman who works at the library who helps me out during programs. I passed on the compliment to her though... and she laughed too, natch.

That being said, you guys are marvelous, witty, well spoken, professional and kind. Thank you for reading :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dr. Strangelove

I just had a nice young boy, probably age 11 or 12, asking if the library had any books on how to make bombs.

At least he prefaced the question with "This is going to sound strange..."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A series of slightly related thoughts.

-It is germ city in the library. There are four little kids in the children's room right now and they have all coughed (without covering their mouths of course!) in the last 2 minutes.

-A little boy named Phil sneezed directly on my hand today at storytime. Twice. (I was helping him cut out a snake mobile.)

-The germaphobe in me is freaking out.

-It's my birthday today. I'm 25 (!!!)

-Parker Posey shares my birthday. As does Tara Reid (dear god.)

-I REFUSE to be sick for my birthday or for my birthday celebration this weekend.

-I'm drinking so much water that I'm peeing every 20 minutes (blog overshare?) and I've washed my hands raw.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It's Too Early in the Morning for God's Plan

A grandmotherly type came in this morning searching for Barney CDs. She was one of those people who use your name a lot in order to seem more personable i.e. "Hi *looks down at name tag* Katie, I'm going to need your help." or "Thanks, Katie, these are going to be great." or "Katie, I think we need a few more." or "Katie, tell me how this is going to work. They're going to send them to me?"

This was slightly annoying but it was fine until she busted out this statement: "Oh you'll be learning these Barney songs real soon I'm sure, Katie!" I sort of laughed and she fired back with "Oh you will! You'll see! In a few years, you'll have your own Barney watchers Katie!" And I laughed again and said "Maybe!" And then it got worse. She put her arm on my shoulder and said very forcefully, "Katie, you'll see. You don't know God's plan. You've just got to trust in him sweetheart."


This brings up a very interesting question that Marty posed in the comments a few entries back: "So, is this whole children's librarian thing making you totally NOT want to have kids, or making you kind of want to have them? I have no idea where you stood on this issue before, just wonder if the job is pushing you in either direction."

It's a very good question. In theory, I'm okay with being childless. I'd be more than happy being a godmother or an Auntie Katie. I love kids but I'm just not sure that actually having children is the right decision for me. And I'm not entirely sure I feel comfortable bringing a child into this crazy world of ours. Who knows what the state of the earth is going to be in 80 years? But, then again, maybe all this will change if I meet someone, fall in love and get married. Maybe then I'll get the motherly impulses. My job hasn't really changed my thoughts on any of this. It's actually kept me pretty balanced. There are definitely kids that make me want to have a few of my own. And there are parents that make me want to be just like them. But then 15 minutes later, a terror of a child comes in and these crazy parents are acting like idiots and I'm faced with the reality that having a child is a crap shoot. You never know what you're going to come out with--one of those kids that everyone loves or terror on two legs. And who knows what I'd be like as a parent. I don't think anyone sets out to be a bad parent--it just kind of happens. And I'd rather not it happen to me :)

Monday, November 05, 2007


Every Monday I work the late shift (12:30-9pm) and tonight a mom from one of my storytimes came in to request some books. She was sans kids for the night and since there wasn't anyone in the children's room, we were making small talk. She was telling me that she liked the storytimes a lot (yay!), that her daughter Samantha liked them too (woot!), and that I reminded her of herself (okay!) because I was "nice and mushy."

Wah? Mushy? I'm mushy? I guess I do have a sweet, affable quality going for me at work. I say hi to kids, I tell them they're doing a great job on their coloring sheets, I smile a lot and I suppose I seem happy but mushy? Mushy seems like an annoying thing to be. But perhaps I'm wrong...

This is the definition of mushy according to
1. Resembling mush in consistency; soft.
2. Informal
a. Excessively sentimental. See Synonyms at sentimental.
b. Given to or displaying mawkish affection or amorousness.

Huh. I know she was just being nice and I'm glad that she likes what I'm doing but I'm stuck on mushy.

*Sidenote: If you google mushy, these are some of the most relevant images: