Last Sunday afternoon we went to the library again, as part of our fortnightly library trips. Kah Yen loves to go to the library. The moment we reached the front porch, she would let go of my hand and dash into the glass door. Once inside, we can leave her to her own devices in the kids section, while I browse for children's books and husband stays at the magazine and video corner.
Things went on well as usual. Till a moment when I felt extremely quiet around me. I turned around and Kah Yen was not in sight. I left the aisle and went to search for her.
There at the open area with small round reading tables and chairs, I found Kah Yen, a boy and a female library officer stood facing each other and engaged in a conversation, mainly with the officer looking down at Kah Yen and saying something. Interesting, thought I. Did Kah Yen just acquaint herself with some bigger friends? I don't know she has such excellent social skills. Both surprised and delighted, I walked towards them. Half way, I heard the conversation. The officer was asking Kah Yen "Where is your mommy? Why are you pulling books off the shelves?" I halted immediately upon hearing where is your mommy. I saw Kah Yen looking up to her, innocent and stunned. I doubt she understood half of what the officer was saying. Then all of them saw me coming. The officer told me to watch her after confirming I am the mother because she was pulling books randomly off the shelves onto the floor. I quickly made my apology on behalf of Kah Yen and on behalf of myself, and brought her away. Apparently the boy found Kah Yen pulling books onto the floor so he brought her to the library officer and she was interrogating her!
So my 22-month old just got interrogated by a library officer! I am almost sure when the officer saw me, her eyes read "So this is the irresponsible, over-protective, and spoiling-the-kid-for-nothing-good young mother!" and it made me feel so little. So for our next half an hour in the library I am sure I was more scared of seeing her again than Kah Yen, for she continued to pull the books while I turned my eyes left and right and left again all the time.
If that's all what happened during our trip, it wouldn't be so bad. However, the most embarrasing moment had yet to come.
I was still browsing through more picture books, while Kah Yen continued touching and pulling books at a shelf across mine, and at the end of the aisle sat a boy and a girl between 6-7 years old reading. Out of a sudden I heard an unusual sound, something you don't normally hear in public places. And clearly it was from Kah Yen. I turned around and I saw her, standing still and her body stiff as rock, her hands clinching to the edge of the bookshelf, her face blushing and perspiring at the same time, and she went "Mmm! ...... Mmmmm! ...... Mmmmmmmm!" Yes she was...... poo-ing! Right in front of the two kids! She wasn't potty trained yet but sometimes when we happen to catch her "getting into the business" at home, we will seat her at the potty and teach her to push by making the sound "Mmm!..Mmmm!" She clearly got the wrong message that the louder her sound is, the stronger is her push and the sooner the poo will come out! The girl who was reading looked up from her book at Kah Yen, then at me, and back and forth, clearly disturbed by the sound Kah Yen made and was anxious at what was going to come out soon. I could almost see her hand was going to cover her nose but she resisted doing so. Such a well-mannered girl! I don't have many options. I couldn't bring her to the toilet 'coz she was not trained yet, I couldn't ask her to go to a more private corner while she was in the middle of it. So I shouted coolly across the aisle "Kah Yen, when you are done, let mommy know I will come and change you." Then I pretended to get really busy looking at my book again, not daring to meet the eyes of the little girl anymore. What an embarrasing moment. And the smell that followed minutes after only made it worse, by ten times at least.
There ended our library trip. Till date I am still contemplating whether Kah Yen can understand if I tell her that next time she should not do her business right in front of other people. And if it's really an emergency then she should do it quietly and dicreetly, and act as if nothing is happening. I guess she won't. So for the next library trip, I am going to keep her in a more secluded corner, you know, just in case she has another unscheduled private agenda.