We have already visited parenting in the library. Let’s visit it again.
Me: (to child running around the library) I’m sorry, but you can’t run in the library, ok?
Child: (looks at me with blank stare and then runs off)
Me: (thinking to myself that I shouldn’t bother telling children not to run because they don’t care what I say and really, the more they fall, the more they should learn, and it is fun to watch sometimes)
. . . . minutes pass . . . .
Me: (To patron who just came up to the desk with said running blank stare child) Hello, how can I help you?
Patron: You know, the next time you talk to a two year old, you should talk to their parent instead. Now, s/he wants to leave the library and is crying.
Me: I’m . . .
Patron walks away.
Now, really, I’m not happy that the child started crying. But I had no idea where the parents were. Because they were not “around” because the child was running up and down the middle of the main hall of the branch where I work. So what am I supposed to do? Go around randomly asking everyone if the child running up and down the hall belongs to them? Really? This is the suggestion I’m receiving? How about you watch your child and don’t let them run around the library. How about that?
Because, you’re right, I’m not here to parent. You are.