Thursday, October 2, 2014


This morning I decided to take the girls to story time at the library.

What a great idea. Good moms take their kids to libraries.

I managed to take a shower this morning before Coco woke up and kept Zuzu busy by letting her take a shower with me (not my favorite way to shower, but easier than wondering what's she's doing while I'm in a compromised position).

We had breakfast, I even put away some laundry, and then I loaded up the girls and we drove the five minutes to the library (we could have walked, but it was raining).

Zuzu and I had a conversation on the way to the library about how the library is a place where we keep our voices down and listen and hold hands with Mommy.

Our library has a big staircase and she always wants to go downstairs even though there's nothing in the basement except meeting rooms. The children's books are on the third floor so we go upstairs, but evidently that is not as cool.

So we went to story time. I was wearing Coco in the Ergo carrier so I sat in a chair. Zuzu sat in a chair next to me.

Storytime went just fine. The librarian read pirate stories. I'm not sure Zuzu knew what a pirate was, so I tried to fill her in before the story started ("Pirates sail in boats in the ocean.")

She enjoyed the pirate stories and the little songs we sang in between the stories ("If you're a pirate and you know it, say 'Ahoy!'"). And then it was craft time: make your own pirate hat.

She played a little fast and loose with the glue, and I had to try not to roll my eyes at one mom who was directing her daughter's pirate hat a little too closely, but in the end we ended up with a lovely pirate hat.

We'd just picked up a batch of library books earlier in the week, so I told Zuzu to select one book to take home. She chose a book on airplanes.

She had done really well, so it was reward time: walk down the stairs to the basement.

And so we did.

She wanted to drink out of the drinking fountain, but... cold, flu, EBOLA... I said no.

It was time to head out and I was congratulating myself on a successful outing. Coco was comfortably snoozing away in the Ergo, Zuzu was well behaved and had had a lovely cultural experience designing her pirate hat and now we were going to go home, have lunch, and take a loooong nap, right?

In a word, no. I let her choose elevator or stairs to go back up and check out her airplane book (she chose elevator) and as we headed for the check out line, I reminded her that she would need to sit in the chairs by the window while I checked out the book.

This is our normal routine at the library, but today it fell apart. She wanted to continue to ride the elevator or run up the stairs and she did not want to wait in line to check out the book. She bolted, I grabbed her arm, and she did the drop-to-the-floor-limp-and-boneless thing while also shrieking, "NO! I go upstairs! I go downstairs!"

And so I ended up picking her up super awkwardly under my right arm (because Coco was occupying my front in the Ergo) and dragging her out to the car while she screamed, "I NO GO HOME! I GO LIBARRY!"

A man walking out to his car said something to her--I can't remember what, something about her face freezing that way except it wasn't that exactly, but along those lines. She ignored him. I wished that he would just ignore her.

Of course his car was parked next to ours, so he had to wait while I put her in her carseat. And I felt all flustered and self-conscious.

Zuzu fought me and wouldn't let me buckle her in, and I couldn't really force her because I had an innocent baby in between us who was going to get smacked by an irate two-year-old and also a witness in the form of the dude who wanted to get in his car. So I just left her in the floorboard of the car, shut the door, and went around to the other side to put Coco in her car seat.

Then I remembered Zuzu can open the car door and I was suddenly afraid that she would open her door and smack the dude's car as he backed out, or worse, jump out of the car and get run over, so I was trying to hold onto her across Coco's car seat and saying things like, "We have to leave because you're not following library rules" in a calm and rational voice even though what I WANTED to be doing was screaming louder than she was screaming.

Once the dude had vacated his parking spot, I took a deep breath and counted to ten, and then went back around and got Zuzu buckled in her car seat (by this time, her screaming had softened to a super annoying whine). Then I went back around and buckled in Coco, then got in the front seat.

At this point, Coco started crying and Zuzu continued whining in the most irritating pitch possible and fake crying for good measure, "I go libarreeeeeeeeeeeee, Mama, waaaaaaahhhh, I go libarreeeeeeee."

I ignored her.

Coco stopped crying once the car started moving, which saved my sanity. I did my best to think zen and tune out the incessant whining coming from Zuzu.

She did it all the way home, stopping at one point to ask, "Is that a train, Mama?" in her TOTALLY NORMAL, not whining voice.

I said, "No, that's a truck."

She said, "Oh."

And then remembered that she was supposed to be whining and started up again.

Don't get me wrong: I'm glad Zuzu has so much fun when we visit the library. I just hope that some day she'll enjoy the books as much as she enjoys the elevator and stairs.


  1. Totally been there. I took my two-year-old to get frozen yogurt as a reward for having a good week. I had my then 8 week old in the Ergo sleeping peacefully. Needless to say, I did the carry the toddler under one arm while kicking and screaming and trying to protect my poor baby's head from said toddler routine as well. So frustrating. I promised myself that if I ever saw a mom (or dad) in that position, I would offer to carry the toddler.

  2. Ugh those moments are so tough. You feel totally judged by everyone around you, plus embarrassed and frustrated. I had a moment with my 5 year old like this recently and I was mortified! Sounds like you handled it as well as you possibly could!

  3. I'm a children's librarian and I see this happen pretty much every day. She'll get the hang of it. The only time we give someone the side-eye is when a parent shrugs and lets their kid scream it out in the middle of the library.

    Her pirate hat is amazing. I can't stand when parents direct craft time. Toddlers just want to glue things, let them! I starting posting signs that explained why we let them do whatever they want, it helps develop fine motor skills, blah blah blah. They still end up with some highly professional looking crafts.

  4. She will. This is, of course, no consolation. But, it's the truth and right now that's all I got except for some chuckles at her remembering she was supposed to be whining (the fake cry irks me. If you're gonna cry, give it al you've got. Own that disappointment, yo.)

  5. I can relate on a lot of levels. George (the older one) was and sometimes still is a terrible whiner. It drives me nuts. It got better as he aged (I mean, he has to grow out of it sometime, right?) but also I bought Toddler Rules by the Supernanny and I have to say, it helped a lot. That being said, I was that yelling mom at the store the other day, when they were being AWFUL at the department store hiding in the clothes racks. They're not perfect, nor am I.

  6. Lmao!!! This reminds me so much of my daily life

  7. Ahhhh! Starting to actually physically feel panicky reading this; my fight or flight kicks in when I think back. Remember those days *well*. Shudder. Also, EBOLA OMG what are we going to do.

    Zuzu is animated and fierce, smart and cute. You're in trouble.


  8. The fake cry is so damn annoying. And I feel a little guilt for saying this, but the fake laugh is equally annoying to me. No, that's a lie. Cry is worse.

  9. Well, it appears you have just described the exact situation we run into about twice a week at our library (two) runs/storytimes.

    Obsession with stairs, elevators, going into random meeting rooms, etc. He goes to storytime and enjoys it and even has a fun name for each one: "jumping and counting storytime" and "glasses and book one" based on the songs we sing and motions that accompany.

    But when it's over, the obsession with all things in the building are off. the. hook.

    We check out books, but I usually pick. Luckily, I am pretty damn good because he is downright obsessed with airplanes and has no problem reading book after book AT HOME about them.

    The limp, boneless bit? Straight out of my own strong-willed kid's book. And putting him on the floorboard throwing a fit to put the Ergo-captured baby in her seat first? Just Friday, actually.

    These kids are amazing for their determination and spunk, but LORD JESUS, calm the eff down pleaseandthankyou.

  10. I also agree with being super annoyed at parents overly guiding craft time. Bleh. Whose craft is that anyway? They will be more proud and own it if they did it themselves.

    And... sometimes strangers are helpful when they stop to say crap to Benjamin during his tantrums... it startles him. The starling often causes him to forget (at least temporarily, I'll take it!) why the hell he's causing such a ruckus in the first place. I've learned that he often forgets why he's even upset after a bit.

    Tomorrow is Monday. Bracing myself for children's museum day!