I love to read.
I have ever since I was a kid. Obviously, I don't have as much time to read these days as I used to, but I've read a good number of books this year. I've found if you really like doing something, you can always make time for it.
Back when I was a mother of one, I used to get most of my books from the library. I used to enjoy browsing through the shelves and seeing what appealed to me. Now that I have a toddler, I haven't been able to make time for that, plus I'm terrified of her destroying a library book. So I haven't been to the library in a while.
Last weekend, however, I got bored and decided to take my kids there.
As some of you who read my personal blog know, I have some issues with the library. But since our local library has an entire floor dedicated to kids, I figured that we at least wouldn't get shushed.
When we arrived, my older daughter Mel was thrilled to discover that there was a train set for her to play with (because you don't actually go to the library to look at BOOKS). She started playing with it while I flipped through books with my toddler. I must have turned away for, oh, sixty seconds.... and the entire train set had been dismantled!
Me: "What did you do???"
Mel: "I'm going to rebuild it!"
OK, well, I don't want to stifle her creativity, right? So rebuild away!
Except she wasn't quite done rebuilding by the time she got bored. I think it ended up being more complicated than she thought it would be to fit everything together, and she couldn't do it. She went about ten feet away to the young readers section and started pulling out books.
"I'm going to read these!" she announced.
And of course, my toddler followed her and we all read books together. Yay for encouraging reading!
Except about ten minutes later, a family of three came into the children's area. It was a mom, a dad, and a girl of about three or four. The mom looked at the area where I was sitting with my kids, where we had a few discarded books strewn about (which I was TOTALLY going to pick up when we were done), and says, "Oh my god, what happened here?"
I didn't say anything, just kept reading and focusing on my kids.
Then they go over to the train set, and now the woman is almost screaming, "OH MY GOD, WHAT A MESS! WHAT HAPPENED?!!!"
Then the couple starts discussing what a travesty this is. The dad especially seems really upset that the train set has been dismantled. He actually sits down and starts grumbling to himself while attempting to put it back together. And I hear the mom say loudly to him, "Can you believe this? I'd like to shame her into cleaning it up!"
Now you don't have to believe me, but I was TOTALLY going to make Mel clean it up before we left. I mean, I was still right there. And when I've got two small kids with me all by myself, it's not the easiest thing to not leave a tornado behind you everywhere you go. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't have put that train set back together without both my kids vanishing on me. And to be honest, they didn't even know it was me who made that mess in the first place.
I fully expected them to come up to me eventually and confront me, but apparently, they just wanted to passive aggressively talk about me behind my back. Still, it upset me, so they did their job.
Is it possible for me to bring my kids to the library without some library patron yelling at me and making me feel like never coming back?