Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Breaking through mothering barriers

So I'm a bit of a negligent mother, in that my children have rarely stepped foot in a library except for activities or meetings. I know. It's horrid, really.

Here are my rationales:

- I can search for any book online from home through the interlibrary loan catalog, and have it sent to our nearby library's drive-thru window. They send me an email that the book is ready. If the kiddos are napping, I can swing by and grab the books from the comfort of my car. Awesome beyond words. [Note: If mothers ruled the world, EVERY store, restaurant and video place would have a drive-thru!]

- We have so. many. books. This isn't a bad thing, necessarily, but means that bringing all three kids in the library didn't really seem pressing... I'd rather use the maternal energy to go to a park or museum, and read what we have at home.

- Andrew is just moving out of the stage where rows and rows of books merely means MORE things to pull off the shelf. Why set ourselves up for failure?

Ummm...I think that covers it.

Well, we did our first full-on library visit today. Where we actually went inside without any agenda. Jack wanted "new" books where he can read the whole thing by himself, and so I told him the library had a special section of ones that didn't have many "stinker" words. He brought a little bag and I made a stack of books that had been pre-screened at his level. He picked out 5 and put them in his bag. We checked them out. Andrew picked some for his bag too, so we all felt cool.

I cannot believe how well it went. It was the ultimate test that they are at fabulous stages of maturity (assuming adequate sleep and food). Everyone who can walk is verbal enough to "get it" when I explain the ground rules, and everyone who isn't can be strapped in a carrier.

Andrew used the kids' zone toilet without issue. No one broke anything. Dumped anything. We looked like a normal ol' family out for a library visit, instead of escapees from the zoo.

I can see that a whole new phase of parenting is opening up. I used to say I wouldn't travel with my kids until we could go to the grocery store without it being a 3-ring circus, and it appears we're nearing that place.

Peru, here we come.

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