Thursday, July 13, 2006

Libraries and Overextended Definitions

My sister Hope and her three children have been visiting us for the week. On Monday, I took my oldest niece to the library for Celebrity Storytime. Monday's guest was the fire chief, and children asked numerous questions, such as, "What if your house gets on fire?"

My four-year-old niece was reciting to me what she has learned about library etiquette from her mom.

"We have to be quiet and whisper. And we have to be careful with the books. We can take some of them home. And then, when we're done, we get to throw them away!"
This response threw me. Why would she think books were ever thrown away? With some deliberate questioning, I was able to ascertain the truth: she thought book depositories were trash cans.

To continue with amusing responses from this same niece, we must harken back to over a year ago. Eric and I were spending the night at my parents' place over Christmas, and my niece saw us settling down for the night and pulling out the hide-a-bed. Quizzically, her gaze went from Eric to me, and then only the one bed. Once she had the nerve to phrase her question, she addressed Eric.

"So, Faithy's sleeping there with you?"



In Eric's simplest logic, he responded with, "Because we're married."

My niece took this in, and the puzzled look dissipated. With newfound clarity, she boasted, "Oh. I'm married to mommy."

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