Saturday, June 05, 2010

At The Quarterly Library Sale

No one told me I should, "Read to my child" this time. I did however get an angry snarl from an elderly volunteer:

(Looking at our books as we checked out) "You homeschool, don't you?"

Which on the surface sounds somewhat amusing. Really, what gave it away? The book on the Spanish Civil War?

(Still snarling) "I can't believe you don't need to be certified."

I smiled, and paid for my books. I came to understand years ago that I do not owe anyone, let alone strangers, an explanation for my parenting decisions. Once you start taking unsolicited advice to heart, you're doomed. Whether it is the busy-body who thinks it is appropriate to publicly berate you for formula feeding, or the person who thinks vegetarianism will stunt your child's growth-ignore them. Stick in your imaginary ear plugs, give them a confident smile, and let it go. The latest version of this seems to happen when I'm re-filling water bottles at the supermarket. People feel free to inform me that I shouldn't be purchasing water. I could explain that I live on a farm with well water that isn't potable. I could explain that home filtration systems while safe, wouldn't make it taste better. I could mention the lack of flouride. I could...but I don't. I do not owe intrusive strangers explanations. Full stop.

Surly volunteers aside, we did have a lovely time searching the stacks for books. Danny came home with yet another atlas, and a book on tall ships. We struck out on British History as Danny wanted a biography of Nelson (much to the amusement of the fellow looking for books next to us) but we came home, loaded up his toy boats with plastic soldiers, and re-enacted some sea-battles. I suppose it is better than having a child obsessed with Star Wars. We watched Master and Commander last weekend, and Danny really loved it. I thought he'd find it dull after twenty minutes, but he watched the entire movie.

The book sale runs all weekend (with a special Sunday opening) and I'd like to go back to have another pass through. Posting may be light over the next few days.


Raymond said...

The elderly volunteer with the snarky comments is likely a product of public education. There, she learned to be an asshat, and to value mediocrity.

And let me remind you again of my story from 2nd grade: on a weekly trip to the school library so we can find books that would interest us in reading, I picked out a book titled "Motion," which was going to explain the science of kinetic energy and such. And I knew it too; I understood this from reading the jacket. Hm, interesting. The librarian saw what book I chose, took it from my hands and slid it back into it's proper slot on the shelf, telling me, "Oh no, that's a book for older kids. The children's section is over there." Bitch. To this day I curse her soul and the system that made her.

Goody said...

I got the sense that the woman was a retired teacher-perhaps thinking I was taking books away from "qualified" teachers.

I don't think it was about concern for Danny's education.