Yesterday I took the kids to the library. I don't want to admit how long it's been since we went to the library, but 1) I am really kind of wow busy and 2) I'm currently in a dysfunctional relationship with my library. No, it's true. I am busy.
Oh, the dysfunctional thing. See, the library district I live in closed something crazy like four of its seven libraries last year. Over half! It actually didn't bother me, because I don't go to any of those libraries, because they are staffed with wildly surly people. Seriously. So surly and unhappy. So I go the library I've also gone to. My HOME. MY library.
Well, that library system got tired of being over worked by all us outsiders, and announced that if we want to use their libraries, we'll have to pay $100 for in-district privileges. And although I've checked all the way to the bottom of my library bag, I never have a spare hundred bucks. So I can still go there, but there are all these restrictions on my card. No inter-library loans. I can't renew books. Only THREE BOOKS AT A TIME, if you can imagine. It's awful.
But I keep going, and keep being treated like a syphilitic book-licking street person with visible vermin in her hair. I'm just waiting for them to decide they love me again, I guess. I swear, I haven't been in a relationship this bad since my twenties.
Anyhow. It's not like I can stop using the library entirely, and Max needed to do some research on France, so we went. I can't help it. I love the library.
When we got there, the boys disappeared to get their library groove on, and I toddled off to watch Sophia. She headed straight for the little playhouse in the kids' section. There was another little girl there, a four-year-old, named Alice. She was delighted to see Sophia arrive, and immediately pulled out a little chair for her to sit next to her. Sophia was delighted right back, and clambered onto the proffered chair.
Alice grabbed her foot as she climbed past and brought it up, nearly to her nose, to inspect her shoe. It was a shiny black patent leather number that Sophia has hardly taken off since Easter. We had tears at bedtime over the shoes. Now Alice was studying her shoe, and she was transfixed.
"Oooooh. You DO have nice shoes on. Do you like that they are very pretty?" she breathed.
"Yes!" Sophia was in complete agreement. "My have pretty shoes."
"And you also have blond hair like me! So that is pretty too!"
"Yes, my have hair," Sophia agreed, patting it to be sure. And so the tone was set.
For almost an hour Alice and Sophia moved back and forth from tiny chair to tiny chair, negotiating the sharing of the play keyboards in the playhouse. Occasionally they decided they should read books, and move over to the shelves. Then they would decide to give each other hugs. Then they would go back to the play house. And the whole while they talk talk talk talk talked about everything. Wouldn't this keyboard be better here? and why were there clouds again in the sky today? and did Sophia know that she is a baby and so therefore is very fragile and precious? And should they hug again?
Alice did most of the talking, but Sophia agreed with her a great deal, gamely repeating as many of Alice's words as she could manage. It was (save one incident with a chair put down on a certain prettily-shod foot) absolute accord.
And then another girl arrived. I never learned her name, but here is what I saw: she looked about five. She was clearly still wearing her Easter dress, which was pale lavender satin, complete with matching tights and white, flower-bedecked sandals. The front of her dress bore the remnants of some chocolate drink, and her knees were matted with leaves and grass. Her hair was escaping from a fancy braid in wispy clumps.
Alice and Sophia were TRANSFIXED by her beauty. She joined them in the play house, and all was silence for about two minutes, when Alice finally found her voice.
"Please," she murmured, "can I just TOUCH your dress?"
I'm not sure what her response was, or what happened next, but in just a few minutes Sophia was following this other girl around while Alice cried to her mother that the baby only wanted to play with the PRETTY girl and why couldn't SHE wear her Easter dress? It was all terribly dramatic.
And although there is...lord. SO MUCH that I don't understand about this whole episode, I can absolutely assure you one thing:
Nothing like this EVER happened with the boys.