Monday, October 19, 2009

Not Prudent

I scurry in to the library for overdue fine prevention. After dropping the hot stack into the receptacle, I flip through the DVDs and VHS tapes quickly - if I return things, I'm expected to bring something else back home again. Since Addie is very independent with the VHS tapes and scooching to her favorite parts, I search through those. I find Once Upon a Potty for Her. What the hell. I've been showing potty propaganda for quite some time to no avail, but you never know when Prudence and her pot might find purchase in Addie's proclivities.

Already thinking of my next errand and feeling virtuous about needing to pull no cash out this time up to the check out desk, I throw my hasty choices down. I relish the sounds of library checkout movements, the flick and stamp, slide, flick, stamp, slide. The check out person gets to the bottom one - the red box with Prudence on it - and decides it's time for friendly comments.

"Oh, it's time to sit on the potty!"

The librarians know us. Addie makes serious tracks and noise in there and we are frequent visitors. It was a haven of long practice aisles back when she learned to walk for the first time...and then the second time after surgery on both feet. When Addie first got her communication device, the library page was a favorite - "I love the smell of the pages in library books." The shelvers and check out people know Cate and how she endeavors to borrow all titles in a series at once, regardless of the impossibility of her finishing more than one in the 3 week period.

So this librarian who has watched my family grow through the progression of titles we pick, comments that it's time to sit on the potty. She exclaims it with squinty smiling eyes and a congratulatory tone.

I smile back. The closed-lip kind of smile with a slow blink in the middle of it. "We'll see."

Before a shrewd pause in which she could consider who she is addressing can take place, she continues with her cheers, "The baby's going to sit on the potty!"

Baby? Who has a baby? She hasn't seen me with a baby for 5 years.

I pull the diaper out of my tote and set it on the counter to make room for the dated and stamped items freshly borrowed. It is clearly the largest size diaper. I slowly stuff it back in on top of my potty movie.

Still she twinkles and beams and calls after me as I turn. "Good luck with the baby!"


Christine said...

Some people are so ignorant! I'm speechless. How offensive! So Sorry!.

Terri H-E said...

It was very odd. I was not really offended or hurt by it, but I was not sure what response she expected as she is fully aware that Addie is not, indeed, a baby. It makes me laugh right now, in the same way we laugh about the owner of the chinese restaurant we frequent who's been calling me by the name of Susan for years. Susan isn't even close to Terri.

Just people loudly and confidently bungling through, knocking stuff over and not even noticing.

Cindy said...

My impression is she THINKS she's talking to you the way you want to be approached about "she's not really delayed, she's just a baby." I'd say this librarian has no experience with special needs beyond observing Addie for 6 years...she needs some personal experience!

Miz Kizzle said...

Some people just don't pay close attention. Perhaps she thinks you have a baby at home, a baby you keep hidden from view because it's half human and half snail.
Or maybe she thinks you recently adopted a baby or you're fostering an infant or you stole some other lady's baby when she wasn't looking.
I go with not paying attention. I had my nails done recently by a Vietnamese woman who asked about my kids. I told her I had three, two boys and a girl. I didn't mention that my two boys are in college and my daughter is a high school junior.
"You have another one some day?" she asked.
Uh, no. I am finished with childbearing.
"I'm too old. Almost fifty," I said.
The woman seemed genuinely surprised.
"It's hard to tell how old Americans are."
Maybe. I'd like to think I could pass for 35 but I suspect she's another person who doesn't really notice what's in front of her.