Is there a place you visit where odd things often happen? For us, it’s the local library. A funny story emerges from almost every trip to the library. Here are three tales from the library.
I’ve written before about the somewhat tedious conversations I have with strangers but how people of Chinese descent LOVE that I have three sons! Story time at our library is attended by many families of Chinese origin. The downside is that the boys are mini, fair headed celebrities. We seem to attract attention, even as we mind our own business. As we were leaving the library one day I noticed a lady, not very discreetly, taking our photo. I was lugging the nappy bag, the full library bag, pushing the stroller and trying to keep the big boys nearby, so I ignored her. As we were walking through the outdoor carpark, she was still clicking away at us through the library window. The biggest lad and I waved to her, in an attempt to subtly say, ‘we can see what you’re up to’. Hilariously, she thought this was an indication we were happy to have our photo taken, waved back to us and kept on taking photos. Who knows what she did with the photos, but gee it was a surreal experience!
I like kids, even ones that aren’t mine. I don’t however, pick them up and cart them around without the express permission of the parent and the willingness of the child. Story time had finished and we were borrowing our books. A mother and her son start chatting to me, which was bad timing as I was very much occupied. I presume she decided to ‘help’ me and scooped the littlest lad off the floor and started walking away with him. Now, the littlest lad is at that age where he is not at all fond of strangers! In the middle of the library he starts loudly protesting about being carted off by this stranger and being separated from his Mum. Thankfully this helpful lady returned the little lad to me. But, she wasn’t finished.
Without prompting, she picked up the middle lad. He’s almost 3 and well and truly able to walk. We all start heading to the door, me carrying the baby, nappy bag and library books, the middle lad being carried by the total stranger. Now, the middle lad is pretty laid back, but he’s looking at me with a horrified expression and reaching out to me saying “Mummy, help me”! I don’t know, perhaps that’s the point you put the child down? Neverthelss, she continues on her merry way carrying a bewildered kid with her. She carries him to the car, commenting on how cute he is, blah blah. He’s now mute. We make it to the car and she offers to buckle him in. At that point I tell her that I have it all under control, I’m able to buckle my kids into the car. Seriously, if she wanted to help she could have simply carried some of our gear. It was so weird that the big boys and I just looked at each other as if to say ‘did that just happen’? Yep, sure did!
One of our trips to the library was on a stinking hot day. The car park is outdoors. As we left the library, I told the two biggest boys to stand in the shade outside the library while I took the littlest lad to the car. I could see the big boys the entire time and they could see me. I was at worst 10 metres away. My theory was that I could start the car and buckle the baby in while they stood in the relative cool of the shade rather than the heat of the sun in the carpark. From stage left, enter ‘helpful’ lady who doesn’t speak English. She sees me at the car and starts ushering the boys towards me. The biggest lad politely stands his ground. The middle lad is confused and somewhat more compliant and she starts literally pushing him toward me. I start yelling to her that they are fine/ I told them to wait there/I was coming back for them. Pointless really. The boys are looking at her and looking at me and clearly they are thinking something like ‘what is this crazy lady up to’? Somehow, the penny drops for this ‘helpful’ lady. She then starts pointing for the middle lad to head back to the shade. He’s so perplexed and seems fixed to the ground. The shoving starts again, she’s now dragging and pushing him back in to the shade. Honestly, if the boys swore I’m sure they’d have said ‘WTF mum’!
That’s my top three tales from the library. How would you react in these situations? Please tell me you have random encounters like these!