Today I promised my four a trip to the library. Alex and Kendra heard about the Summer reading program in school, and they have been pestering me to take them for the past week. Between tending my niece, finishing the school year, Enrichment night, our anniversary and some terrible headaches, I could not work it into the schedule before now. Plus, the last time I took Hannah and Anthony by themselves, Anthony pitcheda major fit in the kid section (because I wouldn’t let him jump off the window seat onto the LoveSacs like a WWF wrestler), and then again when I so inconsiderately checked out the books before letting him get a drink play in the drinking fountain. (I have never exited a building quite so quickly, even during a fire alarm.) So, to be totally honest, I was worried about a repeat.
But the little ones had a good nap, so I thought it might be better. We got to the information desk and filled out our little bugs (yes, even I got one!), got our coloring sheets, our door hangers and our reading charts, watched the Harvester ants tunnel in their little display, and then we were off to fill our bag with good books. Since I plan to make this a weekly trip, and also because I hate looking under the beds or through our bookshelves for missing library books, I limited my kids to five items each.
Alex found a Calvin and Hobbes anthology right away, so he was oblivious to everything else. He grabbed a few books and a movie, and then settled in to read his comics.
Kendra asked me to help her look for some “Clementine” books someone in her class had read. It was fun to show her how to use the library search system, and to show her how the titles were alphabetized by author. She found two Clementine books (hooray!), grabbed a DVD and some picture books, and found a spot to curl up in. (The last book she picked was Stellaluna, which is a book I have always loved. She explained, “It’s such a nice, quiet, calming book. It makes me feel peaceful.” The teacher in me was doing cartwheels.)
Hannah picked a Barbie princess book, and then another, and then another. None of them are age-appropriate or even readable to her, but she was thrilled with the pictures. She sneaked in an extra book about Arthur and D.W., and I pretended not to notice. Between you and me, I was relieved to know there was something I could read to her that wasn’t in graphic novel/movie dramatization form.
Anthony found the DVD section right away, and what should be in the very front? Harry Potter. (Hotter Potter, according to him.) Of course, we own all five movies, but that didn’t deter him from grabbing the library copy and clutching it under his arm. I figured I could get it away from him before we left, or distract him with a different book, but he didn’t ever put it down. He picked Dr. Seuss’ Fox in Socks, as well, and he had the book and the DVD firmly under each arm. Of course, the minute he remembered the pile of bean bags and cushions, he dropped both of his prizes and ran to the windowsill. *sigh* It DID give me a chance to return the HP movie (which I put in the very BACK of the “H” section), and I let him get in one good jump before I hustled everyone to the checkout desk.
Oh, the tears! Luckily, there were only a few screams this time, and he was easily distracted when I took out his book and asked him to carry it for me. “Where Hotter Potter movie?” he kept asking me, and I ignored him. (I know, I know, that’s terrible, but had I said, “I put it back” or “You can’t check it out. We have it at home!”, then we would have had a major meltdown, and I just wasn’t ready to do that again. And no, it wouldn’t have hurt anything, really, to let him check it out, but he’s only two, and not really ready to watch the Harry Potter series. I think I made the best choice. Don’t you?)
We got checked out, waved goodbye to the Harvester Ants, took our turn at the drinking fountain and piled into the van. It took less than half an hour. The minute we got into the house, the kids were digging through the canvas library bag and begging to read their new books. I had complete peace and harmony while I prepared dinner, except for the occasional giggle from Alex. (At one point he was laughing so hard I thought he’d either wet himself or pass out from hyperventilation. He showed me a cartoon from his book where Calvin’s mom was busy making dinner. It was something like giant squid, gasoline, weed killer, a shrunken head, and other toxic ingredients that she boiled down in a pot and served to her family. Of course, her meal was something completely innocent- like French toast!!!- but all my kids found it hilarious that Calvin was sure it was vile and disgusting. (Again, like French toast with bread!) I’m sure the reason they found it so funny was because they didn’t get the joke… they thought she was really feeding him that stuff. Because that’s what we moms do: make gross stuff for dinner and try to poison our kids with it. It’s in the handbook they give you at the hospital. Didn’t you get yours?
At this very minute, all four angels are playing together outside, the dishes are done, I’m writing my blog post, and it’s just 7:30 PM. I LOVE days like today. I LOVE my kids, and their personalities, and spending time with them. They are so cool!
And now I’m off to make lemon bars. A day this good deserves dessert.