Dear Library Patron,
The other day, as you may recall, my toddlers and I had what I consider to be a very successful trip to the library. I understand you do not agree. I know you are far removed from this world in which I live and must think that taking two-year-old twins to the library is a disastrous idea. I don’t necessarily disagree, especially given the tantrums and all-out misbehaving I’ve experienced there in the past.
However, on this day, my babies were well behaved and happy, truly the best you could ask for out of them when placed in a building with such strict rules. It’s true, they don’t yet understand the concept of quiet, but they certainly weren’t being purposefully disruptive, nor were they ever at top-volume. I absolutely understand your need for complete silence as you worked on your brilliant masterpiece, or whatever it was you were doing. Might I suggest that next time you not sit directly in front of the children’s DVD section?
I don’t expect everyone to find my children cute, not do I expect them to stop what they are doing to cater to babies. But the girls should not have been bothering you in any way. They are two. They forget, sometimes, to whisper. We were only there for 30 minutes. If you weren’t keen on hearing the alphabet three times during that half hour, you certainly could have moved. Why would you choose to sit so closely to the kids’ section? In fact, if what you were doing was so important, why did you choose a library with a kids’ section at all?
I’m not saying you should go out of your way and make more work for yourself because I’m not willing to bend a little. I understand your position. It’s not fair to expect you to have to find a library with no kids’ section simply because you want to read in peace and quiet, simply because you want to use a library as it was intended.
I’m not saying I’m right, and I don’t expect people to change their lives to accommodate me. I do, however, expect a certain courtesy when I manage to wrangle my twins out of the house, and they manage to behave themselves.
I’m saying that it is impossible to keep two kids of this age completely silent while I pick out some books and videos for them. Please understand, if it were possible for me to have them be “seen and not heard” I would have done so. However, to do as you wished would have resulted in screaming, crying, as I bullied them out of the library. I assure you, that scenario would have been far more disturbing to you than the seldom giggle and the random counts to ten. To appease a toddler, one must go very slowly and make each move with a strategic game-plan in mind. I can promise you that from the moment we set foot into that library, my main goal was to get us back out the door.
I was honestly hurt when you came stalking over to us, intending to tell us off. I was incredibly thankful that I accidentally averted that situation by telling my kids we were going to leave before I saw you. When you heard that sentence and snarled “YEAH, LEAVE” my heart sank. And here I’d thought it was a successful journey.
But, really, as I hung my head and hustled my girls out of there, I became more and more indignant. As if I do not have it hard enough, having to constantly battle the will of two toddlers. As if I had not kept them completely under control and happy that entire time. You, sir, would berate me as a mother, would allow your annoyance to get the better of you so as to interrupt what you were doing simply to scold me? What purpose do you feel that would have served? Would you have felt better, bullying a mother and her two daughters, when you, yourself, chose to sit immediately to the left of the row of Dora DVDs?
I guess as much as the twins were a bother to you, they seconded as a help to your cause. Because had I not been weighed down by two little hands heading toward the parking lot, I’d have turned around and told you about yourself.
The point of this letter is this: mothers and children exist. We do not expect you to give us special treatment. We do expect that you make your own life easier and move away from the space designated specifically for us. Had you been in the reference section, or the literature section, or the computer section, or any other of the half dozen adult sections in that library, we would never have had the misfortune of disgruntling you. You sat in the children’s section.
I owe you no apology.
The mother of twins you cut down in the library
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