My kids’ school librarian thinks I’m a flake. In her defense, I’ve given her plenty of reasons.
Take today. I show up to volunteer at the annual book fair. After a five-minute tutorial on the cash register, she leaves another mom and I in charge. Oh, help.
“Do you know how this thing works?” I ask as I turn to the other mom.
She shrugs. “I thought you did.”
Luckily the seven-year-olds who shop first understand as we make slow if not steady progress through the checkout line. They happily flip through their new books and seem surprised when we call them to come up to pay.
“Look at us!” I grin. The other mom smiles too. We are feeling confident for the next class to arrive.
We should have waited before congratulating ourselves. Fourth graders don’t have the same tolerance for adults as first graders do. Just saying.
Unlike the younger kids who grab the closest book they saw, the older ones carefully peruse the shelves until the last minute. The rush of kids at the end of the time period fluster my new comrade-in-arms and I as we frantically try to check all the kids out.
It’s then that a friend comes up to the checkout desk and asks how much money she should send in with her kindergartener tomorrow to buy books. I turn to answer.
“No talking!” The librarian claps her hands and in a firm, teacher voice tells me to stop talking and start ringing. Did she just scold me? Yes. Yes, she did.
In an attempt to show Mrs. T. that I am a qualified and efficient volunteer, I grab the next child’s book and start checking him out. I’m so focused the announcement over the school-wide intercom doesn’t initially register.
“The owner of the white MDX parked in the bus lane needs to move it. Now, please.” One guess who owns a white MDX.
The boy I’m checking out is six dollars short. He’s slowly pulling items from his bag one at a time to return.
“How about this?” He hands me a bookmark.
“Now you’re $5.50 short.” Oh, this could take a while. The announcement comes again.
I grab my bag and tear out with no more explanation than, “Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. That’s MY car!”
It’s only when I get home that I realize I left my wallet on the librarian’s desk.