Philip entered the library as he usually does on a Saturday morning, but by the time he left, he had both a moustache and a tattoo.
The Youth Services Department of our local library began observing the birthday of Dr. Suess on Friday. The “Seussational” activities will conclude on Monday.
My mom was watching Philip on Friday. Winter story time ended the previous week, so she didn’t have any plans for the day. When I saw the Facebook post about the Seussabration, I called her.
I knew that she took him because he was wearing a Thing 1 (or was it Thing 2?) hat when I got home from work. He also had a bag filled with crafts. The hat was his favorite, however. He liked that hat so much, he wore it to bed both Friday and Saturday night.
When I took Philip back to the library on Saturday, he behaved as he usually does. He walked right past the tables filled with activities and went to the play area. He played with blocks for quite a while before he noticed that films based on Dr. Seuss books were being projected just to the right of us.
About this time, one of the librarians came over to let me know about the activities that were available.
“Yes, I saw those. He was here yesterday with his grandma.”
“I know,” replied the librarian. “Hi, Philip!”
It turns out she is the head of the department and has worked with Philip at the weekly story times.
“Did he get a tattoo yesterday?” she asked.
When I told her no, she invited us to stop by before we left.
After watching a few minutes of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, we went to one of the craft tables. This is where Philip traced and cut out his own Lorax moustache (with some help from Mommy). Once he had his moustache, he wasn’t interested in the other crafts.
Before we went on to our usual Saturday library tasks of picking out books and movies, I did show Philip how he could stick cardboard green eggs on a poster showing a plate of ham. This appealed to his sense of orderliness and putting things in their place.
After checking out our materials, we returned to the librarian’s desk so Philip could get his temporary tattoo. She asked if he would want it on his face or hand. I didn’t think it would go well to have someone touching his cheek, so we opted for his hand.
“Yes, most of the kids like to be able to look at it,” the librarian said.
I wasn’t sure how Philip would react to the sticker being held down by a small, wet sponge. However, he was distracted by us counting to ten three times (it had to be in place for thirty seconds). When the librarian lifted the sponge to reveal the tattoo, Philip rubbed it.
“Do you want me to take it off?” she asked him.
“I don’t think he minds it,” I responded.
Philip must have liked the pressure because he grabbed the librarian’s hand and put the sponge back in place.
“I guess he approves,” I said.
“You know,” the librarian said, “he has come such a long way since last summer.”
“When he first started coming to story time,” she went on, “he was just there. Now, he participates.”
It was great to hear this from an outside observer. It really did make the day a Seussabration, even if I did feel tears form in my eyes.
Oh, the places you’ll go, Philip.