Wednesday, January 11, 2006

What happens in storytime stays in storytime

“What happens in storytime stays in storytime.”*

Right: Matching shirts for Lucia and Alkelda from their (great) Aunt Brigid. Not pictured: Alkelda's shirt.

*Strictly speaking, this statement is not entirely true. Many of the funny, sweet, embarrassing, strange incidents that happen in the course of a storytime series may be combined, stretched and remolded into new tales to delight and shock. We keep your personal information confidential: where you live, the books you’ve checked out, the reference questions you’ve asked. Even if the courts of Cascadian law don’t recognize the Library Code of Ethics, your librarians do. In fact, any similarities to what you’ve experienced in the library and what you’ve read on this blog is entirely coincidental. However, there are two general, vague, non-specific things I’ve learned from doing storytimes over the past 9 years:

1) Answer all questions as if they are reasonable requests.

A rowdy third grade class had just finished listening to some stories. I opened the floor for questions or comments. One girl asked, “Are your pants on backwards?”

“No,” I replied.

Perhaps had I been in 3rd grade at the same time as the girl, I would have responded with something along the lines of, “Is your face on backwards?” and everyone my age would have thought I was funny. I have standards now. If someone is intentionally rude to me during storytime, I will scare the toenails off of everyone with my Gunniwolf roar. (Trust me, it’s terrifying. Also, it’s mainly the grownups who have nightmares afterwards.)

2) No one is immune from foolishness.

During an earthquake, everyone scooped up their children and ran for the doorframes, except for one parent, who ran out of the storytime room sans child. I was incredulous.

Three years later, I was in the grocery store with Lucia. I had just put my wallet on the counter when Lucia ran for the sliding doors. I began to run toward her, then stopped and looked back toward my wallet. In that instant, the cashier said, “Get her! I can guard your wallet, but I can’t guard your girl.”

I’m sure the cashier was incredulous, too.


Melangell said...

Most excellent! On a profound level, in my humble opinion.

Lone Star Ma said...

Yes, I think we all have those moments...if I had a nickel for everytime I had to ask myself WHAT I was thinking....

Nonny said...

Your humor and insightfullness always birghtens my day :)

Lucia looks beautiful btw.

abcgirl said...

i am SO jealous of your shirts! i've been drooling over them myself...

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Thanks, all! The second incident in particular was one over which I paused before sharing.

I think my favorite storyline can be summed up in the following sentence: I fell flat on my face, and I got back up again.
Really, I'd love the story to be more along the lines of: I won! Plus, there were no "learning experiences." Those learning experiences are so much more invigorating when they happen to someone else... as long as the person gets back up again.

galetea said...

"I opened the floor for questions or comments. One girl asked, “Are your pants on backwards?”"

I think the correct response from an adult would have been,

"Hey kid, spin on it." :)

galetea said...

but, you know, that's just me. :)

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Don't think that a 1/2 dozen things along those lines didn't cross my mind!