Tales from the library

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.

The paparazzi

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!

The manhandling

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!

The shade

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!

24 thoughts on “Tales from the library

  1. Hahaha! I was literally laughing out loud and my workmates were looking at me strangely! I loved this post, every story was hilarious in a ‘rather you than me’ way! Do they still like to go to the library? Is your area full of strange women or do you just have a knack for attracting them?

    1. I’m glad I gave you a laugh Haidee! They do still like the library, it’s almost a joke now, kind of ‘what funny thing will happen today’? The area had a large Chinese community which means my fair-headed boys often attract attention.

  2. Unreal. I’m not sure I’d be as polite as you in those situations! Something like ‘keep your hands of my child’ would be bound to fall out of my mouth. Glad you can all see the funny side 🙂

  3. A long time ago I was a nanny to a Norwegian family in Beijing. Four blonde children, the youngest two boy/girl twins. On all counts this family was clearly a rarity in China and everywhere we went people took photos of us, took photos of themselves next to the children and wanted to touch their hair. Luckily the kids were very good natured so it didn’t bother them too much. Wish I could say the same about the time someone took my photo whilst I was using a squat toilet!!!

      1. We were in a small village near Beijing and one of the locals obviously thought such an event was photo worthy. Not sure how many Westerners they saw using squat toilets. Rather off putting to say in the least!

    1. I know exactly what you mean Jess! I’d prefer them not to take photos but I’m yet to come up with a polite yet firm way to stop it.

  4. I used to attract weird random people all the time when I was single. Now that I have kids, I don’t seem to attract them at all. It’s actually rather disappointing! I miss the funny anecdotes.

    1. I do seem to attract some characters but more often than not I enjoy the social interaction. Makes for good stories!

  5. Wow, these are seriously random! I don’t think we really have any encounters at the library. It’s mostly me chasing my 2 year old around while trying to swipe books off the shelf, barking at my 5yo to get off the computer (don’t get me started on how annoying it is that they have a computer in the kids area) and trying to keep both of them still while I self checkout and get out of there again!

    1. Oh Rebecca, we have those kind of adventures too! There are three computers in our kids area, ridiculous.

  6. Wow! It’s all happening at your library! You could write a book about it! Thanks for linking up with the Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

    1. Thanks for having me again Sammie. It sure is all happening at the library, we must be suckers for punishment because we keep on going back!

  7. Thankfully we haven’t had encounters like this, how weird! Most of the time we just get random old ladies making conversation with the girls and asking about the clothes they are wearing. Punky is most often dressed as a punk princess and Zee is just getting to that age where she brings me random pieces of clothing to put on her and I just go with it. Makes for some interesting combinations which people obviously think are cute and like to talk to the girls about. Which would be fine except Punky doesn’t like talking to strangers and Zee can’t talk properly yet so I end up having to answer for them and I’m sure they wonder why I don’t let them talk for themselves!

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