I try to think of something special for the trio to do everyday after we drop Jackson off at school. It's been chilly and overcast the past few days, so I tried to think of indoor activities. Before I had time to overthink it, I found myself sitting in the library parking lot.
Even though I read to the kids throughout the day, I rarely take them to the library. Some of my most unmanageable moments with the kids have been at the library. One day in particular resulted in significant hair loss with me carrying an insane tantrum-throwing Jackson sideways, wearing newborn Maddie, and pushing James and Amelia with one hand while strangers took pictures of the whole debacle. It took me nearly a year to return for library storytime again. That experience ended with James banging on filing cabinets, Amelia pulling out the wall outlet covers, and Maddie climbing on top of the computer table. Books were ripped off the shelves. Clearly, there's a lot of reasons why taking four young kids to the library causes me anxiety.
Still, it had been a year, so we were due for our annual library visit. The library doesn't open until 10 a.m. which meant we had 15 minutes to kill. The trio happily occupied their time playing in the van. I don't often let them play in the van, ever since they left the lights on overnight without me realizing it.
Our local branch has an adequate children's section. Amelia and Maddie, my book lovers, joyfully hoarded as many board books as they could.
The girls and I sat on the couch together and read dozens of books. They especially enjoy the touch-and-feel books, which are readily available on the shelves.
James, on the other hand, did not sit still for a single book reading. He preferred to play with puzzles, magnetic letters, and toys.
I wasn't even sure what age the storytime was geared for, but I knew we would attempt it regardless. It ended up being for preschoolers, though there were plenty of younger siblings in attendance. Much to my surprise, all three toddlers sat on my lap during the opening song and initial stories.
This storytime was more interactive than I anticipated. The theme was percussion instruments. There was a guest librarian from another branch helping. Each kid was allowed to make paper plate shakers. Maddie took her coloring job extremely seriously!
James was so overwhelmed by the crowd and became attached to my body. (He's sitting in my lap in the picture below.)
After we folded our plates, filled them with rice, and stapled them shut, we used our shakers during the songs. Storytime ended with an intense game of limbo. The girls participated while I held a crying James.
I'm not sure I want to include storytime in our regular routine, but I'm proud of how well the kids behaved. Other than James being over stimulated, we had a pleasant experience. The library did not defeat us this time!