One of the things I looked forward to the most about being a mom is going to story time at the library. The whole concept seemed so idyllic–moms and babies sitting together, singing little songs, listening to stories, having fun for free with a friendly librarian who liked and accepted children. Enter my child, and story time isn’t exactly idyllic, but it’s always an adventure, and I love watching how she interacts with other children.
This summer I was excited that with my part-time schedule, we could make it to some story times at the local libraries. Of course, life has interfered, and today was the second time we’ve made it to story hour all summer. Our first visit was great–maybe 7 other moms and babies from about 9 months-22 months or so. MAM was one of the oldest, and definitely the tallest, but she didn’t stick out. She did GREAT and I was looking forward to going again.
Then today happened. Today I took my beautiful tall daughter to “baby” story time for children birth-2 years. She still fits in that category, even though she is 3 ft tall. The story time rug was packed–probably 16 moms (and two dads) and babies–about 6 too many. All the babies were mobile–ranging from about 9 months through 19 months, then there was MAM. We arrived early and got settled, she had fun walking on the nursery rhyme rug, pointing out all the animals, and listening to the rhymes everyone would repeat when she and the other girls pointed out different pictures.
We went around the circle and named our kiddos and gave their ages. I said she was 23months old, because I felt like we were getting looks like,”what’s the giant doing with us?”. The library lady started with a song, and MAM sat, captivated. One little boy went to stand in the middle of the rug where he could see better, MAM stayed by me. Eventually she got up to walk around a little bit (she wasn’t the only one). She found two covered outlets on the floor and thought it was great to put a foot on each. She stood there and listened to the next story.
Then the library lady busted out a “lift the flap book”.
And MAM beelined to the front row. It was a lift-the-flap book. Of course she had to lift-the-flap. So the library lady let her be “the helper” and M was in 7th heaven. Another little girl wanted to help, so they alternated. The library lady didn’t seem to mind. But after that, story time was over (15 minutes). She explained that with such a large group, she felt it was time to go ahead and get out the toys (usually it’s 30 minutes of activity then 30 minutes of toys).
When she got up to go get the toys, MAM reached up onto her table and found another lift-the-flap book and started looking at it. I figured it was OK because we were at the library, so therefore it was a library book, and isn’t that the point of the library?? When library lady came back, I said, “Lift-the-flap books are our favorite thanks for letting MAM help.”
LL: “Oh that’s OK. You know, in the next level up we try to involve the children more.”
Me: ” Oh neat”
LL: “You know, she really is getting to the upper age limit for this class.”
She then walked away, and I was a little put-off. Honest to God, I hadn’t really thought about it before, because for the past 23 months, I’ve known story time at that library is Friday at 10:30. I assumed that birth-2 meant through two–you know, 24-36 months. Guess I was wrong.
LL returned shortly and said,” I am going to switch out ‘Peek-a-Moo’ for this zoo book”
She then proceeds to take the book out of MAM’s hand and gives her a non-lift-the-flap book. You read correctly.
A LIBRARIAN TOOK A LIBRARY BOOK OUT OF MAM’S HANDS. I decided to stay calm, cool and collected. After all, amazingly, MAM let LL take the book without protest. I shouldn’t actively protest either.
Me: “So what’s the next age group for story time?”
LL: “The next group starts at 2. “
Me: “Wow. She’s almost ready for that””
LL: “We actually only have baby time in the summer, the preschool group starts up when school starts. The other more appropriate story time for her would be the family story hour–that’s on Tuesdays at 7pm. Unless there’s a guest storyteller, it’s usually not very crowded.”
Me: “That might work–now that SHE STAYS UP PAST 7:30.”
Am I over reacting??? Was she implying that MAM wasn’t behaving appropriately? Was she bothered that MAM wanted to look at books at the library rather than play with toys?
I know that some of the story time books aren’t in circulation, but if she’d asked, we would have put the book in the story time box when we were done.
My thought is that she could have paid us some compliments on MAM’s maturity before effectively kicking us out of story hour. Gheesh.