Friday, October 12, 2012

The Library

Extremely interesting title, I know....and the post is even more exciting.  I also know how far behind I am in posts.  School posts are coming.  Yellow Jacket Wrap-Up post is coming.  Let's just say life is finally getting back to more of a normal state.

I'm glad I didn't give up on going to the library after our first....and second and third...trip to the library. My kids were not used to it, so it's a learning process.  We'd gone a few times before...and Lydia pulled the books off the shelves from her stroller.  The aisles were not spaced with strollers in mind.  So, our first official week at the library was pretty terrible....2 kids running wild in opposite directions, screams, tears, and I still had to find our books for the school week ahead.  I thought I'd share our plan of attack...or routine...if others are unprepared like I was.  It's true, I'm not always prepared.  Sometimes we wing it...even out of necessity at times.

It was important for me to realize my kids were going to need time and frequent trips to the library to get used to the expectations.  Just like in church...but that's another post.  So, we had to grin and bear it for awhile.  Every Friday we make an effort to go.  We also go early!  Get there before everyone else....that helps!  And just like shopping (or you know me, garage sale shopping), I need to go early when my kids are the most fresh.  If I wait till they are tired and hungry, watch out!  Did y'all hear us at Walmart last night?  Not pretty.

As we drive to the library and walk up to it, I go over how we need to be quiet, we need to be nice, and  we need to share at the train table.  Stevie loves that train table and wants to go just for that.  This library is fantastic with puzzles, stuffed animals, a fish tank, and other things, of course books....oh, and a chalk table.  Chalk in a clean, quiet library...with tiny children.  My one and a half year old is in love with the chalk...and at times the table...she's gotten better about running through the library, chalk in hand and chalk all over.  Sigh of relief....knock on wood.  Again, it's a process.

I have Stevie help me push the books through the return slot as soon as we get's fun!  Then we try our best to walk to the train table.  I still keep Lydia in an umbrella stroller with my list of books in hand.  I was so ridiculous thinking I could just look for books at the beginning.  Nope, I need to look for my books online ahead of time and bring my list and a bag for our books.  We grab them as quickly as possible while Lydia asks to get down the whole search and while I toss reminders to Stevie to be quiet or share.  After all the books have been pulled...or most of them, I let Lydia free to play.  I then can watch her better and help her with puzzles.  That's also when I look through the kids' movies because they are right in that section.

I have to give time warnings to help Stevie.  "5 more minutes..."  When our time is up, we head over to the fish....both kids like them, it's calming, and we just need something enjoyable and consistent before we leave the wonderful library.  This is where we put on coats and get our library card out.  Then we check out our books and Stevie gets to push the handicap buttons to help us out the door.  Always practicing being a gentleman and a little independence while having fun.

Then of course, I remind the kids.....I'm a mom, so there are lots of reminders....that we'll have a snack in the van on the way home.  Call it bribery, but keeping our next activities exciting helps with those transitions.  (My kids would live at the library)  And snacks help curb the low blood sugar meltdowns....for me too.

By the time we get home, I'm usually ready for a nap.

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