"lazy parents please stand up, please stand up"

Today I subbed at Library Y, for the first time since before the summer. While all the librarians were working on the end of summer party I was manning the reference desk when I had this lovely conversation with a patron we shall call, "Lazy Mom," L.M. for short.

L.M.: Hi. We are looking for your books for fifth graders. Where would those be?
Me: Are you looking for a particular subject in non-fiction? Or are you interested in a fiction book?
L.M.: Oh, just anything for a fifth grader. (Thanks for the clarity! UGH!)
Me: (Adressing the child with the vacant face) Ok. Well, do you have any favorite authors? Any particular subjects or themes within the books that might be of interest? For example, do you like books with something like pirates or mysteries? Anything like that?
Blank Faced boy: *** (no response)
L.M.: Anything a fifth grader can read. He was supposed to read four books over the summer and...(and this is where she began laughing...LAUGHING!) well...we waited until the last minute to find something. (Yeah, it's funny that your kids education isn't that important to you!!)
It was here that I began pulling age appropriate books off the shelf as we walked down the Fiction aisles. Every book I pulled off the shelf the Mom opened and

(L.M.) said: "Nope. Too long. These books will take him a month to read." (YEAH! Maybe that is why they gave the damn assignment in June!! When he had months ahead of him to do the DAMN READING! AGH!)

The shortest books I could find that were age appropriate and usually popular with boys were the Goosebump series of books (quality reading) and a handful of Gary Paulsen books.
Sigh...one of those days...one of those lazy (parent) summer days. Come on people. Part of parenting is being a good role model!


I think we have one of those bibliographies on "thin books" to read when your book report is due tomorrow (or something like that). And most schools around here have reading lists on their websites that the kids were supposed to choose books from to read over the summer. So I look up the kid's school and see what he was supposed to read. Or I can always give them a list from this page: http://myssyra.org/
...you would think that parents might learn how to be parents first and not just screw around for 18 years...
SWP said…

You should write the teacher to give him a failing grade. Whatever his mom manages to write for him at this point will be worthless anyway.
I'm baaaaack! Your blog is flourishing! Good skinny book selections. . I have a list of the teens I work for entitled "My Report is due tomorrow and I haven't even read the book yet!" of skinny books that teachers will still approve of for reports. Yay for promoting laziness.
PS - that was from me, Miss Cellaneous.
I was thinking of tricking them into having him read Maus, by Spiegelman, but that would be a good GN wasted on that kid! :)

Miss C, glad you are back.

Effing and SWP, thanks for the comments!

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