I see a dozen toddlers looking at me!
With trepidation, I took the boys to Toddler Time at the library this morning. Last week I hauled them out of there just 10 minutes into the program because they would. not. sit. On anything - the floor, my lap, the kiddie chairs, the big chairs. Nothing. They knew they could "play play," as they call it, and wouldn't wait for one story, one song, one anything and were digging into the toys and running around the crowded room while the librarian read and all the other little kids, two sets of two-year-old-twins included, SAT THERE. "Play-Play! Play-play! Whaaaa!" they whined as I dragged them out. Determined to teach them a lesson, I told them we left because they were not obedient. I had two unhappy campers in the van that morning.
However, I am just as determined to teach them how to be good citizens as well as to love the library and reading, so off we went again, this Wednesday morning. This time, I deliberately showed up late so that we only had to sit through one or two stories before playtime. I told them exactly what to do - to sit in the chair or my lap and listen to the librarian and if they did, we could stay for "play-play." I should tell you that playtime is just a couple of bins of toys set out on the floor for all the kids after the stories and songs. They are all the same types of toys we already own, but since they are different, they are better.
And they quietly walked in, each holding my hand. One sat on the last remaining kiddie chair, the other sat on my lap, patiently waiting for the librarian. At that very second, when I thought success was within reach, she started handing out FELT animals for the kids to stick on the felt board as she prepared to read "Brown Bear, Brown Bear." The whole thing fell apart, but not just for my kids - ALL 12 or so kids were two years old! There weren't enough animals, the kids were sticking them to board out of order, ripping them down, putting them back up, taking them from each other, and my kids were looking at me wondering what they were supposed to do - for just a split second - then they jumped in the fray.
Sigh. We were so close! They barely tolerated singing "I'm a little teapot" and "Shake your sillies out," before the toy bins were loosed. The second those toys appeared, they were good as gold, though, and even HELPED CLEAN UP!
Library storytime. Sounds so relaxing, doesn't it? Not for us.