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Sunday, July 13, 2008

A visit to the library

“Shhh,” said the security guard hovering over my daughter and me. Like I hadn’t thought of that.

We were in the library for only a couple of minutes when my daughter decided to throw herself on the floor and start screaming, “Car! Car please!” This might not be that unusual for a two or three year old; my daughter is nine.

We’ve been patrons of this particular library for about six years. Most employees know that both of my daughters have autism. They are usually very helpful.
I’m not sure what this guy thought I was trying to do, as I wrapped my arms around my daughter and tried to get her to walk out of the library. I had even been shushing her myself. Yet there he stood as I repeatedly tried to carry, coax, or cajole my daughter out of the library’s otherwise peaceful atmosphere. Shushing us, but offering no help.

I finally was able to get her on her feet and hustle her out the door like a hostage taker, with my fingers pointed into her back instead of a gun. The security guard didn’t follow us out of the library, for which I was thankful. I’d had enough of his help for one day.

This wasn’t the first time that I’d had this particular security guard’s help either. On a previous visit to the library I had both of my daughters with me and one of them decided that she didn’t want to leave when I said it was time to go. She wriggled out of my grip and crawled quickly to the video section, where she promptly began to knock video cassettes off the bottom shelf.
I couldn’t get my other daughter to come with me to get the video vandal, so I left her standing by the returns desk while I ran to reshelf the videos and retrieve my first born. While I did that, Lotus thought it would be a great time to check out what is behind the counter in the employee section. Luckily for me there was a nice lady working at the counter and she kept Lotus out of things while I half dragged Celest toward the return area.

The employee offered to help me out to my car; she knew both of the girls had autism and was being genuinely helpful and compassionate. This is when the security guard decided that he had to escort us out with the employee. I know it is probably just a standard cover-your-a** policy, but I found it both humorous and insulting. What did he think I was going to do, mug the lady in the parking lot? Celest was more menacing looking than me, so maybe he thought she was going to try something.

I guess I should be happy that the library employees don’t lock the doors when they sees us coming, but I can be an ingrate sometimes. For now I’ve decided that it’s just easier for me to go to the library by myself. I’ll save the family trips for when I’m feeling feisty and energetic.

(This article also appears on Associated Content :

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