Before I had children I rarely went to the library. Did I have a library card? Yes Did I use said card? Yes Did I go to the library and search the stacks, hang out and do research, listen to music etc. ? No If I wanted a book I would see if the library had it available, borrow it if they did, or buy it if they didn’t. I noticed that the library had a lot of space, a children’s room, conference rooms, etc., but I figured most people used the library just as I did – In and Out. Little did I know the amazing treasures the library holds for a mom!
But if you look closer you will see….
toys, puzzles, fun pictures, crafts, stations where kids can listen to music, computers with kid friendly games setup, and comfy chairs for kids and parents to peruse their books.. If that’s not enough lots of library have story time where the children’s librarian reads age appropriate books, sings songs, and brings out toys for the kids to play with. My library also has a lego club, cookies with Santa Halloween costume parties, puppet shows, etc etc etc. It’s amazing and I had no idea before I became a mom. I love the library and that’s what JR and I did today.
It was great, we played, we built towers, he hung out with other kids, and he screamed and cried when the librarian wouldn’t stamp his hand along with the books.. As much as I love the library I find that I am constantly that mom who leaves with a screaming child. It wasn’t always that way.. It started when EJ was about 2 and by the time he was over that stage (about 3.5) JR took his place. I guess I should take it as a good sign. They love going so much they don’t want to leave. But when a child screams in a library it is especially loud and horrifying for the parent. I personally sweat Profusely when this happens. I try to make it look like I’m not flustered trying to hold the mass of books we have accumulated and the squirming screaming toddler in my arms.. but I am and the sweat is my tell. It’s interesting how people try talk to me when my children are having a tantrum. With out fail someone will start chatting pleasantly with me while my kids are screaming or just being obnoxious. What is that about? Maybe I am just doing such an awesome job of looking zen that people think it’s a good time to discuss how their kids loved the library and how great the selection is. Maybe they are trying to show me that my screaming child isn’t bothering them. They are so unaffected they will chat with me about the weather and smile and prolong the situation. I don’t know, but I sweat more when people try to have these friendly chats while I struggle to escape. Even with these little episodes (that JR is thankfully starting to out grow), and the fact that I sometime have to change my socks when I get home, I still love the library. Is it a haven for mom’s? Absolutely! and it’s not just our local library either. We make trips to neighboring libraries as well. It is the place we go when it’s too cold to play outside or when I am tired and need a some place to distract the kids or a million different reason.. Someday when my children are teens and I have gone back to my in-and-out library patronage I hope I remember how many days we spent playing and reading and listening to stories and how sad they were to leave the books and fun that happen at the library.