Dogs And Babies

images-2  My pal Skinny recently wrote:

Dogs and babies have a way of breaking down all social barriers.

Ain’t that the truth.

I was at my beloved library on Sunday when they were having an event in the reading room. When that happens, you need to find another place to read.

There’s the cozy Whitridge Room, but fills up quickly, and the Kid’s Room with its many  nooks and crannies.

I found mine seated on the floor using my jacket as padding.

It was quiet, not always the case in the Kid’s Room, so when this itty-bitty girl plopped beside me with Jemima Puddle-Duck, I jumped three feet in the air.

Naturally I was charmed…who wouldn’t be having a two year-old trust you like that, and unlike dogs, I don’t nearly get my fill of babies.

After disposing Jemima in my lap, she looked up I realized, waiting for me to read to her.

Looking around for a parent, I thought, hey…I’m just going to enjoy this.

So after I finished what I can only describe as light reading, she pressed my arm and said,


Four gens later, I now know Jemima as if we were sisters and could probably do a one-duck show.

Being the reader I am, I totally get it…her Beatrix Potter being my Jane Austen.

Suddenly a woman in her 30s appeared. “Delilah, what are doing pestering that lady?”

(what happened to names like Ann and Mary?)

“Oh no, I’m having a ball,” I said, defending my captive audience.

“Where’s Annette?” she asked, looking around.

That’s when, for the first time, I noticed a lady napping on a stool much too small for her girth.

The little girl was so focused on her book she ignored everything her mother said.

Annette…who’s Annette?

“Your daughter’s reading muscle is developing early. How nice for her.”

“She does love her books,” she said.

When her mother pulled her to her little feet she wailed.

“Oh, don’t cry Delilah,” I said, sad to see her go. “Maybe we can read together again (gen) some day soon.”

She wasn’t buying it anymore than I would have, but off they went against her and Jemima’s better judgment.

I have to say, the encounter left me both elated and sad. Must be nice having a little girl to read to night after night along with an occasional quiet Sunday in the Kid’s Room on the  library floor…sigh.

Ordinary blessings, to quote Joan Didion.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in animals, Books, Family, Gratitude, humor, kids, Love, New York City, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Dogs And Babies

  1. micklively says:

    It’s a charming tale Susannah: thanks for sharing.
    Delilah is a bitch of a name to give your daughter. Whatever was she thinking? I can’t hear the name without hearing Tom Jones (or, even better, Alex Harvey) as accompaniment.
    Skinny is right about dogs and babies. Baby dogs are utterly irresistible.


  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    I love reading to kids, too, Susannah. A beautifully written and illustrated children’s book is a work of art. You can’t start early enough. I have a framed photo of my oldest son reading to his 3 mo. old son.


  3. Elle Knowles says:

    I miss having kids around to read to. Most people would have not embraced the situation as well as you did and you are right – most two-year-olds are not that trusting. You should visit the kids room more often!


  4. katecrimmins says:

    You are so sweet. Much as enjoy cats and puppies, I don’t have the same level of patience with children. I like them best when they get old enough to think. Of course some people prefer the young’uns. Guess I like a challenge.


  5. That’s so sweet. I love how open and trusting children can be. That was one of the main reasons I liked teaching kindergarten in Korea. Maybe you’ll see little Delilah there again sometime.


    • I’m rarely in the kid’s library. If I had gotten there earlier I would have had a nice, cozy chair in the little room. It was sweet and did me a world of good and I loved how much she loved to read.


  6. LIttle Man is voracious reader. I spend most of the time with him in the same position and hear the ‘gen’ over and over and over. Nothing is better than to read to a child. I love that there are children who read now, children who know what a library is and those who enjoy a reading. Loved this post, and I bet your lap was a little lonely after she left.


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