Friday, September 25, 2009

I don't think Gemma likes the library

Gemma is generally a pleasant child to take out and about in public. She gets bored after a while, but it isn't something that can't be fixed by a snack or a chew toy. Did I just say chew toy? I suppose it works, since it's a toy and she chews on it. And we've nicknamed her puppy because she crawls around pretty quickly and comes when you call and then sits back on her feet, expectant. She also likes you to scratch her head.

But LATELY, she has taken to piercing the bliss with a blood-curdling scream. Like she's just sitting there totally fine and then in a flash she has stiffened her body as straight as the seatbelt will allow, thrown her head back, and shrieks. The first time she did it, I thought she had pinched her finger or Donovan had taken a toy or, I don't know, someone had STABBED her. But no. Her fingers were fine. Donovan was gazing wistfully at an endcap display of candy. There were no bloody weapons. But because I had quickly reacted with concern, she decided that's a good way to get my attention. This is, obviously, not ideal. Especially in, say, the LIBRARY.

She tried to unleash this kind of shenanigan today and I quickly walked around so I was in front of her in the stroller, squatted down, quietly (but strongly) said, "Gemma. No. That is NOT okay." And then shushed her. The last time I shushed her whining, it was like I hit the mute button. There she stood, mouth opening and closing like a goldfish, eyes blinking. It was...weird. And oddly empowering. I just told her to shush and...she did! Apparently she is the only child who does not have a broken volume switch (I'm talkin about YOU, Donovan).

Today, this approach did not work. Imagine the stabbing, again. Like a Wild West outlaw whipping out her six-shooter (that's what they're called, right? I don't know - I bet I could totally pull off chaps), I had her vibrating teething rattle out of my diaper bag and into her mouth before she had exhaled completely. And that, ladies and gentleman (ha - I was going to hit the back button to edit that to "gentlemen" but then I remembered that probably my dad is the only dude reading this), was our cue to leave. Also, was my reminder as to why I put a bajillion books on hold and then wait for the library to tell me they're ready so I can run in, grab my stack, check them out, and run out faster than it takes my car to completely shut off.

But a special thank you to Donovan for keeping her quiet during the checkout process for singing one of his original compositions, this particular one about his current constipation issues. I'm sure the librarians were sad to see us go. Lesson learned.


Tennille said...

N finds this type of vocal expression delightful, especially when I'm a mere three inches from her. My eardrums do not appreciate it.

laura said...

Creepy--AS I was reading this, I got an email from my library telling me the books I put on hold are ready.

I don't hear sleep screams!

Sarah Burgoyne said...

A couple months ago Isabelle pictched a fit in the childrens section of the library and as I was trying to calm her down a librarian came over to inform me that we were "distracting the story time." Sooo sooo embarrasing.