Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Thing #10: Storytime? No, we're good, thanks.

I don't know what LP2 has against Tuesdays. Once again, he decided that napping wasn't on his agenda for today. I hope it comes back on the agenda again tomorrow. It was there yesterday. I kind of need it there every day right now.

The upside to the no-morning nap is that we were able to go to Family Storytime at the library today! I thought it might take several attempts before we were able to add this as our One New Thing, so colour me surprised that it happened today. I got everyone ready in record time and we made it to the library just as it was starting. As it was just slightly less than melt-your-face-off hot out today, we elected to drive rather than walk over.

Family Storytime is apparently THE place to be in our little corner of suburbia. There were easily 30 small children there. We were able to squeeze in up front on the magic carpet. I know from our previous experiences that LP1 would have preferred to be in the back where the child-sized chairs were as she is not a big fan of sitting on the carpet, but alas, all the lazy parents/caregivers/random attendees were using them. Thanks. FOR SITTING ON THE CHAIRS CLEARLY DESIGNATED FOR SMALL CHILDREN. I wasn't sure what LP2 preferred. I think as long as he was with me, he would be happy.
   Standing room only...unless you are one of these inconsiderate people and take chairs away from little children

As I've stated previously, I wasn't so impressed with our previous Storytime experience. After today, however, I've come to realize that it is all about the Storytime Lady. Our previous Storytime Lady was a very nice lady. She was quiet and clearly craved order. A sort of well-behaved, gentle sort. This Storytime Lady, on the other hand, was something else. She had a big, booming I-am-in-musical-theatre kind of voice that immediately captivated her audience. She had songs and clapping and puppets and big gestures...I was half expecting to see her bust out some JAZZ HANDS with a big dance number. She went from song to nursery rhyme to story and back to song again. Storytime Lady gave it everything she had. And she had the attention of every kid in the place.

Except for one.

While LP2 thought this singing lady with the puppets was worth watching and was enjoying being bounced on my lap, LP1 quickly decided that this was not for her today. She played along for awhile...but I could see her start to assess her options. LP1 doesn't like it when there are too many kids in one area or when she is just thrust into chaos. Had we come earlier, sat in the back and been able to watch the other kids arrive, I think she might have enjoyed it more. But because we came late and she was suddenly surrounded by so many kids and parents and this wild singing lady, she wanted out. And because she is who she is, she devised a most creative way to make that happen.

It started innocently enough. LP1 casually moved away from us and went to sit on the edge of the carpet, next to some other kids. This is how she tricked me. I thought she was finally warming up to the idea of sitting on the carpet and was trying to make some friends, so I let her go. Then she moved again, this time to a more centre-of-carpet location. I thought she was angling for a better view of Storytime Lady. She then oh-so-casually moved over again. It was at this point that I caught on to her. LP1 was sloooowly moving herself across the carpet because the children's section was on the other side of the room. And as she knew, the train table was in the children's section.

By the time I scooped up LP2 and tiptoed around everyone, LP1 was already at the table, pushing the trains along the track. LP2 and I stood beside the table but watched Storytime Lady for a while because he really was enjoying it but it became too difficult to sing along while trying to keep a watchful eye on LP1. I soon set LP2 down to play with the trains, too. He didn't mind. Trains are also really fun. LP1 enjoyed having an entirely deserted area to herself. She checked out all the toys. She looked for some of her favourite books. She made it clear that she had no intentions of returning to Storytime. LP2 would have happily returned but as I haven't yet figured out how to divide myself in two, he settled for playing with toys, too. I was about to settle in with him to read a book when Storytime ended and we were suddenly surrounded by 30 children, all eager to find a book or play with the toys. It was chaos.
Toys are more fun when you don't have to wait to play with them!

I tried several times to get LP1 to go over to the Summer Book Club so we could report about our books but she was not interested at first. I thought we might get a prize today. It wasn't until after Storytime Lady gave out stickers (which LP1 was happy to receive and then later give to LP2) that we were able to go check in. I only reported on two books for each of the LP because I think they are only required to read 12 books for the summer and I think it will be more fun if we try to stretch it out. Sadly, there was no prize today. Foiled again! If we report in next week, we will be eligible for a prize. As we had somewhere else we needed to be, it was time to go. LP1 did the classic refuse-to-go pose, whereby her legs were suddenly incapable of supporting her and she attempted to throw herself to the ground while I struggled to hold her hand and keep her upright. Such poses invariably make it look as if you are somehow force-dragging your child because you are The Worst Parent Ever and usually earn a disapproving stare from certain other parents. Particularly when your child is screaming. LP2 watched this unfold in utter delight. He enjoys watching his sister make a big scene.

We made it out of the library and on to our next errand. I found the other free ice cream coupon from our last trip to the library and asked LP1 if she was interested in some ice cream. As it turns out, she was. LP2 was starting to nod off in his car seat. And he doesn't really eat ice cream yet. I wasn't ignoring him, in case you thought I was being rude.

We'll try Storytime again next week. I know at least one LP will enjoy returning!
Maybe next week we'll even test out the carpet...or perhaps the chairs will get to be used by the people they are intended for...SMALL CHILDREN.


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