running aground

I’m working every day in a row now for a while. Mostly because I’m now the only part-timer in Children’s at the branch. I sat in on my first Family Storytime the other day and am completely ready to step into taking over that. It’ll be a welcome change from making shit for Baby Rhyme Time. Not that making shit isn’t part of my job (it is), I just hate doing it for babies and two year olds. They don’t get stories, just rhymes. On October 8 I’ll be heading down to Children’s downtown to sit in on a Time For Twos to see how that all works. In the email, the woman running it said I won’t just be sitting at the back observing; I’ll be expected to participate in learning the rhymes. I asked if that meant I needed to bring in a stuffed animal to pretend was my two year old. I’d love to bring in my Joanna and take the whole thing really seriously. But I probably won’t.

Now I’m learning to make felt stories which seem to be an awful lot of work for very little result. The idea is you use these little felt characters on a felt board to illustrate a story you tell the kids. But the stories are two minutes long and making all these felt things take hours. I’m working on a Halloween one about a little girl who is deciding what her costume should be. So I have to make her body and then you swap out heads as she changes her mind. That works okay and can be done quickly in the performance. But in the Family Storytime the other day my coworker’s felt story was just to illustrate four people taking books from a (woefully underfilled) library. It was worse than pointless.

Another thing I’ve been doing is searching through the rhymes for duplicates and things we need to add to our collection. So I read On Top of Spaghetti, which we have two copies of. That song completely works against its own logic. It talks about all this amazing stuff that happens when someone sneezes and the singer lost her meatball. The meatball turns into a tree that grows more meatballs and sauce and stuff. It’s super cool. But then at the end the “moral” of the song is “hang onto your meatballs and don’t ever sneeze.” If you did that, the singer wouldn’t have a spaghetti and meatball tree in her yard! Why would she want to deprive everyone else of that awesomeness? I’ve been sharing my newfound outrage at this and no one seems as upset as me. My supervisor did not understand me at all, instead saying “I don’t think I’d feel comfortable singing this” because she doesn’t like the word mush or something.

One thought on “running aground

  1. I love the meatball book! When I was a kid the ending used to make me mad and I remember asking my Mom that exact question. I also had this book called “The Money Tree” where these two kids find a penny tree in this old man’s yard and every Sunday they go and collect pennies and the old man gives them cake and they have a grand old time. Then the old man gets older and dies and the tree doesn’t work anymore, but one of the boys grows up to have his own money tree only it’s a nickel tree. It rhymed and had cool pictures and somehow managed to incorporate the concept of inflation. Genius.

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