Saturday Snap – The Unexpected Benefits of Working at the Library

Two recent events brought home a really cool benefit of working at the public library most probably don't think of – it's a great place to work if you have a child. 

A couple weeks ago, Shea had to make an unplanned trip to the doctor (nothing serious but it couldn't wait either) so she called to see if I could watch Pace for half an hour.  I said 'yes' so she dropped him off.  Pace and I went to the Children's Library downstairs and borrowed some toys then went back up to my office, I closed the door and Pace managed to (mostly) keep himself entertained between the toys and the notepad I gave him to make me some art for my wall.  (He does an excellent circle!)  We also did a quick visit to the others in my Unit and it's nice to be in a workplace where people are happy to see a child – not always the case in my experience.  When he wasn't able to entertain himself, he tried to help me with an e-mail I was sending and let's just say I'm happy there's an Undo function in most computer programs now.  Oh, he also found daddy's “treat drawer” and there even happened to be some gummy worms in there!  (My co-worker: “You're going to let him eat the whole bag?”  If it keeps him happy right now, yep!!!)

Then last Wednesday, Pace's daycare was coming to Central for storytime (they'd come a few other times but I'd always been busy and never able to make it.)   I was pretty busy this day too having been tapped to facilitate an internal forum we were holding to talk about some issues around materials handling. But our Facilitation Plan had been finalized first thing that morning so I figured there wasn't much else I could do and a storytime might even help distract me prior to the big event in the afternoon. 

My plan was to sneak down and stand in the back of the room so he wouldn't see me at all but of course, I timed it poorly and arrived just as Pace's daycare was filing in.  So he spied me immediately, grabbed my hand and there was no way I was getting away from him! 

We went into the storyroom and the kids got seated in the front (he's the blondie in the photo below) but it's lucky I snapped this pic when I did because he soon after came and joined me where I was sitting against the wall.

He did really good for the first couple of stories (well, except for one fingerplay where the person doing the program told a story of an alligator eating monkeys in a tree.  At the end, the instructor used her alligator puppet to ask the kids if they were monkeys and they all shrieked “no!”  Except for Pace who blurts out,  “I a monkey!”  Not sure if he did this because his group at daycare are called the monkeys (honest).  Or maybe we should stop calling him a monkey at home so much!  )  The instructor later told me that she'd never had a kid say they *were* a monkey before in this program when the alligator turned its attention to the crowd.  (That's my boy!)

By the final story, he was getting a bit restless and started asking “Where's mommy?” in a louder and louder voice.  Oh shit, I thought.  I ruined storytime and the daycare workers are going to be pissed at me too!  I took him out and eventually got him settled then took him back in as they were watching a final short video.  He was a bit tearful but quickly settled in with his worker (who I apologized profusely too if I got him all riled up for the rest of the day.  I also apologized to the instructor for our disruption but she said it was okay – she'd been doing storytimes long enough that she'd seen everything and I shouldn't worry about it.)

One final peek at Pace then I was off to get the venue set-up for my facilitation session – any nervousness I had about doing something that I haven't had formal training in put into proper perspective by a very enjoyable visit with Pace during the daytime – a treat I rarely get. 


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