going incognito

Today besides my usual Babies storytime, I also read to two groups of 3-4 year olds at a nearby pre-school. The first storytime group in the morning was very receptive. Our theme was underwater life so I brought in Eric Carle's Mister Seahorse, which is cool because it has clear plastic sheets that cover up some of the fish, sea life, etc., and which the kids love because they try and guess what's behind it, etc. I also brought along a pop-up book about sea creatures, which I had "Wally the Whale" (a puppet) help us read--he turned the pages while I read the story, etc., except Wally liked to try and eat the pages. (The kids loved this).

It was fun and another "I love my job moment," that is until one little girl started acting like a cat and "meowing" at me, and then decided to lick my pant legs...umm?

On my lunch break I went to the local, WONDERFUL deli and was eating my sandwich and reading Pride & Prejudice when a woman came up to me with her daughter who I recognized from my morning group. Here is the conversation that followed:

"Do you work at WhippleFlipple? (name changed) My daughter said you work there."
"No, I work at Library X, I was at WhippleFlippe this morning reading stories about the ocean to your daughters class."
"Oh, really?! Honey, what kind of animals live in the ocean?"
Daughter shakes her head, so I try and help her out, "We talked about dolphins, seahorses, fish, jellyfish and whales."

"Wally was eating the pages of the books," the girl says and starts laughing--It was totally adorable, the little girl is so cute.
Her Mom looks confused.
"Ah, yes, Wally was our puppet helper who was supposed to turn the pages of the book we were reading, but he kept trying to eat the pages."
Her Mom smiled and after some more polite conversation their order came up and they left.

Yep, that's the gift I impart to children...book eating whales.

Upon telling the story of my run-in to one of the other Librarians I laughed and said that I am going to start going out incognito on my lunch break. I can just imagine the damage that might happen if the kids were to see "Miss Monster" leaving the nearby store with a 12 pack of Corona, a bag of limes, and a pack of Camel Lights. Yes, I have decided it would be best if I dressed like the guy in this picture...


Kevin Musgrove said…
They always remember the misbehaviour of props, which is fine when you and Wally are doing it on purpose. Not so fine when key pages of a pop-up book come unglued and the book explodes when you pull a tab...
Actually...that happened to me on Monday with my toddler storytime...I don't think they noticed though. They were too busy pooping their pants or something! ;)
Kerry said…
I used to get people in my secondary library job who said, "Don't you work at Library A?" Yup, that's me.
Kevin Musgrove said…
My colleague Frog was having a middle-aged-man's vanity glow in a local bar when the attractive woman who'd spent five minutes staring at him sashayed over and said:

"Didn't you use to do the Under-Fives' Storytimes at Windscape Library?"
With this fail safe disguise people will ask me things like, "Hey! Aren't you that guy from that group that sings Y-M-C-A!?"
Miss Cellaneous said…
I totally know what you're saying, I can't go to the mall anymore on my day off with just sweatpants and an old sweatshirt with my hair in a mess for fear that I will run into someone that I know from my "professional" life.

Also, I don't want to get confused with Britney Spears.
Kevin Musgrove said…
I wouldn't mind being mistaken for Britney Spears. It would make a change from Wallace Beery.

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