Caution: Watch for Falling Poop!
I think we have actually lost track as to how many children have left a bit of excrement behind in the Children’s Room. In the 4 years the new building has been open, there have been at least as many incidents, if not more. Today was no exception.
I was walking out of the story time room and into the main room to find 7 year old Alice* staring at me with a look of horror on her face. She looked at me and then at her elderly nanny who was pulling a bunch of tissues out of the box on the circ desk. “It’s over there!” Alice pointed down one of the picturebook aisles. My first thought was that there was a spider or some kind of insect in the play area. But when I asked Alice what she was pointing at she gazed at me with her large, frightened eyes and said, “David* pooped in his pants and a piece came out of his shorts and fell on the floor.”
So, definitely NOT a spider, then.
And because this is not the first time this has happened, I was completely calm and totally unsurprised.
“Well,” I said, “The timing really couldn’t be better because the carpets are being cleaned tomorrow!” (They really are!)
The nanny looked pretty mad and mentioned that David was starting school tomorrow – I think kindergarten. Obviously she meant that he should not be doing something like this. She asked for cleaning supplies, which we have in abundance for situations such as this. I appreciated her cleaning it up, because the first time this happened – when I was still an innocent youth librarian – someone’s child managed to track poop throughout the children’s room. There was a bit in the playhouse, on various places on the carpet, and even on the couch. Sadly, I was not there to clean it up. This incident inspired the now-famous “Poop” email that I mailed out to my children’s programming list. The reason behind the email was to ask, nay, IMPLORE parents to please let a staff member know if their child has had an accident somewhere in the children’s room and that it needs to be attended to immediately. Hey, accidents happen. It’s not a big deal. What is a big deal, is if a child has tracked poop all over the public library children’s room and the parent simply picks up the child and leaves, without saying anything so that ANOTHER child stumbles upon the mess and that other parent has to deal with it.
Not cool. I can understand that it’s embarrassing, but seriously. It’s also pretty rude. Not to mention GROSS!
I’m not sure if this happens in other Children’s Libraries. The kids feel completely comfortable in the Children’s Room. So much so, that a lot of them come in and then immediately take off their shoes, as if they are home. Perhaps it is the same thing with the poop. I don’t know.
Interestingly enough, this is not the worst thing that has happened in my Children’s Room. But we’ll leave that story for another day….maybe.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.