I took Philip to the library on Saturday to return the DVDs he had almost destroyed. I glanced at the whiteboard in the vestibule to read the latest announcements. An arrow pointing right into the meeting room appeared below these words:
I peeked into the room and saw a blue police phonebox. Then I remembered a story I had forwarded to a fellow Whovian this summer. The county park district invited visitors to hunt for the TARDIS in the park.
I immediately wanted to take a photo. I was kicking myself for opting to leave my camera at home. What can I possibly take photos of at the library? I thought. I should have known you are always guaranteed to be surprised at a library.
Philip wasn’t interested in surprises or geeking out like his mom. Philip has a routine at the library. Since it no longer involves running, I try not to interrupt.
First, he returned our items. Next he skipped (no running – hurray!) over to the DVD section. He selected six DVDs, stacking them in a particular order. I think this is visual, but I’m not privy to his criteria. Once he has six videos, he carefully places the stack in our green, cloth bag. Left to his own devices, he would then head for the self check-out.
Since Philip has been full of excess energy, I asked, “Do you want to play?”
“Play,” he repeated and went to the train table in the corner. He eyeballed it and knocked the train off the wooden tracks. He touched several other toys in the play area, never once putting down our green bag. Moments later, he continued with the routine.
I scanned my card and entered my PIN. I let Philip scan the items. He is getting better about positioning the bar code but gets distracted during the process. He likes to open up the cases and spin the discs. The computer often demands that we press a button to continue because it thinks we’ve left. The other complication is that Philip insists that his stack stays in order, but he doesn’t check them out in order. I have to make sure all items are checked out so the librarians don’t think we are trying to steal one.
On this occasion, Philip missed the Doc McStuffins DVD, so I had to pull that from the stack. He was a bit upset by my interference and whined as he tapped “Done” and “No Receipt” on the screen so we could leave. Now he was in a hurry to get to the car so he could examine the discs one by one.
But I wanted my photo of the TARDIS.
“Stand here, Philip.” Philip did not want to pose with the box. He wanted to leave. I opened the box and peeked inside. “Look,” I instructed, but Philip was not impressed and expressed his displeasure. I was disappointed, too. It was not bigger on the inside.
I snapped a quick pic as Philip began speed walking to the exit. My chance to pretend I was a companion preparing to travel through time had passed.
As we walked to the car, I thought about how a library is like a TARDIS. It really is bigger on the inside. With the technology available, you aren’t limited to the resources within the walls. You can connect to other libraries, to the internet, to the world. In a library, kids can read, explore, imagine and play.
And grown-ups can, too.
It’s Day 19 of the NaBloPoMo/NanoPoblano/yeah write NoMo challenges!