Thursday, September 25, 2008

The relationship of Play Doh to librarianship...

Last night Hank asked me to play Play Doh with him while Mike was in class. I gather up his little neatly packed bag of containers and molds, unpack it carefully (dough lined up at the end of the table, animal molds together, shapes next to those, the "garlic press" and other squeezy thing on the far end) and Hank begins to play happily. Suddenly, a Play Doh catastrophe of vast proportions occurs: Hank tries to mix the colors. Stop the presses!! This cannot happen. Everything that I do has to be organized - I believe this is subliminally why I became a librarian. I understand the importance of multi-disciplinary works, truly I do. But Play Doh is different. Play Doh colors must remain within their assigned place in the call number system.

I quickly yank the dough away from Hank and explain that the colors have to stay within their own colored ball. He looks scandalized. The next time I get distracted I catch him trying to stuff a blue penguin and a green seahorse that I had just meticulously created into the garlic press squeezy thing. I grab them and spend at least 5 full minutes separating the colors and throwing away contaminated bits. I think I have a problem. But seriously, the thought of determining the appropriate container (which lid color?!) those mixed colors would go into is actually disturbing to me. Shortly thereafter, I convince Hank that Iron Man is on and that he needs to watch it, so that I can scoop up all the Play Doh and accessories and quickly reassemble them into their correct place in the Play Doh bag. What's wrong with me?

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