I rarely escape the house after 2 pm with all three children. However, if there is one thing that will make me wake the kids from their naps, throw them into the car, and feed them a jar of cold baby food on the run, it's a man who can draw pigeons. When I found out that Mo Willems, my favorite children's book author, was coming to BookPeople, I did just that.
As much as I love to read, this was my first book signing. I had high expectations. Scenes from movies kept reeling through my mind as I imagined myself standing in front of Mo, my good friend Mo, sharing witty banter together while the long line of jealous folks behind us goggled at our immediate bond.
Sadly, that was not at all how it played out. Instead, I got to BookPeople 15 minutes early to find hundreds of die-hard Mo-fans had beat me to the punch. I parked my enormous Hummer of a double stroller in the back while Merrick walked over other small children to make his way to the front. The hords of children watched a quick and super fun puppet show while I sat on the floor and nursed the twins. Then, Mo made his appearance. "Many people ask me why I wrote this new series of books, "he said, "It's because my daughter got an orthodontist."
In the end, the three children and I waited about an hour and half to spend roughly 2 minutes with Mo, during which time I don't think I even made eye contact with the man. It all felt a bit like a cattle call, which I guess is a bit necessary when you've got a hundred kids in their pajamas that all want to meet one man. We didn't share any witty conversation and he didn't lean in, ask my name, then write some message in our book referring to some inside joke we shared. Instead, I was instructed by the staff to write the kids' names on a post-it note and stick it on the title page with about a half inch sticking out the top.
On the up side, I'm pretty sure Mo shared a few words with Merrick. And, Merrick and I had a blast playing Killer Robot with some grabber tool and a voice magnifier in the toy section. And, we picked up P.Terry's on the way home. And you can't beat P.Terry's.