I love the library.......I mean I LOVE it. I have a strange love for it. If anyone asked me what I would do for a day if I had all the time in the world I would probably say, "Go to the library and read." When people send out those mass friendship survey emails that ask, "What do you want to do when you retire?". I always immediately think, "Volunteer at the library." When my friend asked, "Where do you find your place of solitude?", I automatically thought to myself, "The library."
You get my point.
So as part of my Community People lesson plans ( and my secret wish to brainwash my kids) we went to the library a couple of weeks ago. I looked online, found our community library, and decided to go right after story time ( so my kids would not be the only loud ones there!).
Before our trip to the library I prepared Zander and Kaya for the adventure into the world of books. I read them books about the library ( anyone who steps foot into my house probably wonders why I think the library is even necessary). We watched a Reading Rainbow show about the library. We were more than fully prepared to go.
Zander was so excited. The entire ride there he kept saying,
"Are we at the library yet, mom? Is that the library, Mom?"We finally got there and applied for our library card.
The kids (and I) were super-excited to be at the library in Woodstock for the first time. It is really a gorgeous building with so many resources. Zander looked around in awe as we entered and proclaimed, "Wow, Look at all of the books." Kaya, seeing the flower arrangements on all the tables proclaimed, "Wow....flowers."
After we got our card we rushed upstairs to the children's section. I kept telling them, "You have to be quiet. Tiptoe and whisper, this is the library."
They did really well following my instructions.......until story hour ended.
Then all hell broke loose.
Kids came running in all directions. They screamed. They ran. They climbed on the furniture. They did not follow my Tiptoe And Whisper Rule in any shape or form.
So, my kids, being the followers they are, didn't either. We quickly picked 3 books and left.
Not to be disuaded from the visit, I kept talking about the library. The one way I could persuade Zander to leave Grandma & Grandpa's house this weekend was to promise the library. He has asked to go every day this week.
So this morning, after he and Kaya banged the wooden blinds on the windows over & over, I said, "We are not going to the library unless you STOP!" And they stopped. The magic of the library.
And so we went. AND I told the kids "You have to be very quiet and tiptoe at the library." Kaya said, "SHHHH Babies Sleeping," and I just agreed. Zan-Zan said "No running, just Tip-Toeing."
We went in and tiptoed to pick out our books. I only had to shush them once when Zander yelled out, "Mommy, Look, I see a book about Dog Birthday Parties!" Which I, and the librarians ( I think) found simply adorable.
And then......those kids started coming up the stairwell. I thought Oh no, will Zander & Kaya still be good?
And those kids start running, and screaming, and climbing throughout the children's section of the library.
And Zander looks at me with those big brown eyes and says "Look Mom, those boys run through the library."
That would be the slashing through my heart when I have to be BAD MOM and say "I know sweetie, but Zander & Kaya are not allowed to run through the library."
So we look for other books for about 20 seconds before Kaya bolts..........
to the exit door....I sprint and catch her. And in whispering tones scold her and warn Zander.
And then the OTHER kids get louder. And they climb the train (which has signs that clearly state DON'T CLIMB) and run around everywhere. And I notice all of their moms chatting together oblivious to the chaos around them.......And I notice all of them have ONE child to look after, not two.
So we go looking for Z's Bob the Builder Book AND THAT IS WHEN I TURN INTO THE MEANEST MOM EVER.
Because he looks around and sprints................to the Exit Door........and the Alarm to the library goes off.......and I just want to crawl under the carpet and die.
I catch him and say, "We are leaving the library and going straight home." We check out our books and head to the elevator which prompts a major breakdown.......with screaming, thrashing, and biting (I only wish I could have been the one initiating all of those actions). And I look at Zander and say, "If you continue to lose your temper like this, we will NOT go to the Car Wash ( his reward for being good to the library.....yeah, I know I'm sick for including my to-do chores in his reward list, it works!). He continues to throw his fit and in the car is crying continuously that mommy will not let him go to the car wash.
I am truly at wit's end.
I am driving in the car with a screaming child who wants to go to the CarWash and a toddler who is worried because mommy is sad.
I am almost in tears. I don't cry in front of them because I don't want them to think they got me. But oh, they are close. They are so close.
I am contemplating my decision on how to handle the situation. Am I too hard????
I started reflecting on when I was a teacher and some other teachers thought I was way too strict on my students. And how I doubted myself.
Maybe my expectations are too high? They are only 1 and 2..........do they really know how to behave?
And then.........while I just want to keep putting myself down for my methods........my SON.......my PRECIOUS SON, says...
"Mama, I'm sorry. I wasn't a good boy for you in the library."
And then.........all my worries, apprehensions, and doubts melted away.......
He realized what I wanted. And he was sorry, so maybe I'm not so mean.
So then. After his apology, we went home........not to the carwash (that would defeat my discipline strategy) and we read books. Library books. For a while. It wasn't a wasted trip after all.