A week or so back, Tony went on retreat for a long weekend. …with my blessing of course. I wasn’t at all concerned about holding down the fort for four days and three nights. Granted, I did mentally prepare of list of people to call in the event a bat entered my home while he was away, but outside that horrifying possibility, it wasn’t a big deal.
I made sure to pack the weekend full of activities so the time would fly, and thankfully my mother-in-law lives close and was available to help whenever I needed her. So it seemed like no big deal to go to our regularly scheduled Lego night at the library on Friday. No. big. deal.
Did I mention it was really no big deal? None.
As we pulled into the parking lot I immediately realized all van accessible parking spots were filled…by cars…including one that was idling and waiting to pick someone up. I debated whether or not to jump out and kindly ask the man, with no handicap tag, to move but almost 32 hours into my husband’s absence I realized I was not capable of being kind and parked at the back of the lot. I did attempt to puncture his tires with my dagger eyes to no avail.
We deposited our five dozen books into the return slot and I dismissed the older four to the meeting room designated for the Lego meet up. Just me and Teddy reading stories in the picture book section. I could relax on the stained couch, let Teddy pick out a few titles and leisurely flip through them while the older ones amused themselves for a couple hours.
Or at least that’s what I was thinking before Teddy decided to start talking loudly whilest driving as fast as possible towards oblivious seniors or the reference section, I couldn’t be sure. I tried to quiet him down and did manage to corral him onto the couch next to me for five minute before he had to go to the bathroom. HUGE DEFLATED SIGH
So then back in his chair racing across the length of the library, because of course it makes sense to put the bathrooms on the opposite of the building from where distracted toddlers are right?!?!?!!? And little girl, Teddy would prefer you not block his path with your staring. Friendly smile and sing song “Excuse us!!!!!” whilst praying his pants are still dry.
Sometimes God will answer you with a yes, sometimes a no and sometimes with, at least they’re still dry enough to wear.
We headed back to the children’s section me telling Teddy to slow down and be quiet in my friendliest course whisper while speed walking with a slightly prancersized gait. I’m pretty much resigned to letting him drive around with only occasional volume reminders when Fulton appears, then Edie then Addie and finally Byron. What? Done already? It’s only been 45 minutes?! Sorry but we need to invest an hour here to make it worth the loading and unloading and long hike across the parking lot!!! …I said in my head.
“Okay, everyone pick out books, no movies!” I shout to Edie and Byron as they wander off. Fulton is instantly at my side asking for specific titles we once checked out when he was 4 and requesting I read specific pages. Meanwhile Teddy’s speeding head is no longer visible amongst the shelves I sprint and see him making a break for the automatic doors at the entrance. “Teddddddddyyyyyy!”, I hiss, “Stay heeeeeereeeeeee.” Thankfully only a few dozen people were trying to sneak by the adorable child in the large, motorized device. Big awkward smiles all around.
Now back to the kids section. I feel like I’m herding cats…two large, loud cats in speeding wheelchairs with no sense of an inside voice when, suddenly a friendly and very talkative stranger appears! Yay! thinks neither Fulton or Teddy. I smile and try to make small talk and really, ya know, make this vocation look good and all. (Work that greasy ponytail and stained shirt woman!) “Of course they’re all mine! I’m so blessed! Life is WONDERFUL!! hahahahaha!”
Teddy decides it’s finally time to find a book and Fulton just sticks close to me while I chit chat about the mundane and mentally calculate the number of books Teddy is currently pulling off of the easy reader shelf. Fulton, always the stoic introvert, who’s current love language is ‘stay the hell away from me unless you’re my mother’ remained with his wheels at my toes and his footplates pressed ever so slightly into my shins and backed off only occasionally to smile or answer the man’s casual questions.
Finally, everyone had some books and I was ready to head home. We checked out multiple titles, and I only rejected one of Addie’s as ‘trash’ so her and I were both more satisfied than usual at the haul. Plus, I only raised my voice once while loading everyone up AND when I asked if they all had fun I got a resounding ‘”mmm, yeah, I guess.” There’s that feeling of parental pride and satisfaction! Oh wait no, that was me thinking about how fast I could get home, put the boys to bed and have a hard cider.
“Maybe next month Papa can bring you all to Lego night! Won’t that be fun!?” *commence clicking on the radio*
I hate the library with kids in tow. I know. Terrible thing for a homeschooling mother of six to say, but I’m saying it again. The library with kids is hell. Still, you did well, Kelly. And the photo of Teddy racing through the stacks of books is hilarious. Was the trauma of it enough to make you get down on your knees and plead with your husband, “Please, please, pleasssssssse, don’t ever leave us again”?
Oh, that must just be me.
I wholeheartedly agree Colleen. The library with my group of 6 is misery. Even more for the other patrons than for me, I believe. It’s a necessary evil though, for homeschooling, huh??
How you do I don’t know!! The library is a place where as soon as I let my two year old’s hand go so I can discretely (or indiscreetly) change the baby’s diaper, she’s gone, she’s out, she’s pulling errant books off the shelves. Girlfriend, you’re awesome!
I love you so much!! The last time I took Courtney to the library she spent 30 minutes in full “Chewbacca yowling mode” Talk about the stares and “sweet” smiles?? Oy Vey!! I say go Mama go. Get that hard cider and suck it down. I know I would. You kids are awesome! Keep smiling Mama!!
That definitely calls for a hard cider. I tend to avoid the library, sorry kids. I can only handle the occasional visit.
And that is why, when given those few hours of “I’m free!!!” alone time, I go to the library and walk up and down the aisles and try not to giggle at the freedom of BEING AT THE LIBRARY ALONE and not having to apologize to the other patrons for my children whom I have obviously just freed from their caged lives as zoo animals.
But! But!!! When I take only one child with me to the library or we stumble upon the library at a time when no other humans are present but the actual librarian, my children are angels and there is NO ONE TO WITNESS THE MIRACLE!
So, please do drink that hard cider and know the library is both a beautiful but terrible place for mothers. You are not alone.
Oh, my goodness, totally adorable 3 year old! I’m glad you survived to tell the tale.
I’m laughing and feeling bad for you. But you survived!
I’m scared to take my TWO…
So you’re like super AWESOME…
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