You know you're in a rough spot when a middle aged librarian hands you money to shut your kids up.
I was *that* mom last week when my children, Sybil and L.Blair, threw award winning tantrums at, of all places, the town library.
In my defense, we are newbies in this suburb and I truly did not know that video check-out requires cold cash. And so as we were checking out and the librarian said "that will be two dollars", I'm sure the blank look on my face didn't help what was about to come next.
After being lectured on the library's policies (why do librarians like to do this?), I reached around for my purse only to find that I left it in the car. Afterall, one usually does not need money at the library, no?
On most days this would be no big deal. My kids would understand. They would reluctantly, but peacefully, put the Backyardigans and Pokeman dvds back onto the counter and we would come back and get them during our next visit. But today I made the mistake even veteran moms fall prey to: I took the kids out in the (gasp!) afternoon at (double gasp!) nap time. I know, crazy.
When I explained that I forgot my wallet and that we would come back and get the movies later on, well, all hell broke loose.
There was crying, whining, screaming, hitting, fists pounding, heads spinning, blood spewing (ok, not really, but there could have been).
I tried to pretend they weren't my kids. I tried to walk away and ask whoever was in charge to please remove these demon children immediately. But it was too late of course. Everyone had already seen me. My only choice was to rip the movies from their tight little clutches and get out of there as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, that wasn't happening either. I would have had to saw off their hands in order to get the dvd's back onto the counter. They were not leaving that library without the movies.
Oh, those ever helpful librarians did try to "override" the system so that we could pay the two freakin' dollars the next time we came back. But due to new accounting practices enforced by the town that was not possible.
Rules will be rules. Especially in small town government.
Finally. FINALLY, a librarian reached into her own purse, handed me the two bucks and pretty much told me to leave and take my hysterical kids with me.
I thanked her profusely and left embarassed and humiliated that a 50-something librarian adorned in a polyester jumpsuit had to bail me out.
So much for making a good impression in our new little town.