I took the kids to the library today. Well, first I took them to the pool. It was pouring outside, but no thunder, and today was the day for swimming lesson sign-ups. So we made like ducks and went.
The kids swam all day yesterday. They had free passes to the water park and their papa (otherwise known as my husband) took them. They got there around 1:30 and returned home a little before 10 pm, eyes red from the salt water and good, old-fashioned exhaustion. The littlest one—who last year wouldn’t even go on the lazy river—went down nearly all the slides. Hip-hip for growing up!
But the library. We checked out a boatload of books even though we already have a monstrous-scary pile at home. I just know I’ll confuse myself with what’s due when and have to pay big fines, but oh well.
The library has a new policy: kids, 12 and under, must be attended. It drives me batty, these super-cautious rules. Not because I have any desire or need to leave my kids at the library (but it’d be nice to have that option), but because it seems a shame to not encourage the local kids, the ones out riding their bikes all summer long, to come in and read for a spell. What could be more idyllic than a group of kids zipping over to the library to hang out on a hot summer afternoon? It makes me sad, this loss of trust and childhood freedom.
Coming home from the library, the kids completely fell apart. Low blood sugar and lack of sleep, I presume. I (stupidly) had them fold three wash baskets full of laundry before they ate, so we were pretty much in full crisis mode by the time I handed them their eggs and toast. The meal over, they were sweet as angels. After all these years of immersion parenting, you’d think I’d learn TO JUST FEED THE LITTLE TWITS when they start acting up.
But back to yesterday. I had big plans for my alone time: a walk, lots of writing, some reading, etc. I did the walk—that part was good—but it went downhill from there. I did a little writing, but couldn’t get into a groove, so I gave up and tried to read. But then I just got sleepy. So I ate a chocolate peanut butter ice cream cone and tried to read/write some more. But the sleepiness persisted. So I had two more helpings of ice cream. And then I fell asleep anyway. Whatever. Apparently, I am no good at producing anything if I’m not under pressure.
I skipped supper (unless you count the ice cream as supper) and drove into town to attend a dramatic reading of Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden. (I think they might perform it again in the fall. Locals, it’s worth seeing. Difficult, but very worth it.)
And then I came home and ate carrot sticks and nachos.
P.S. The photo has nothing to do with the post, just in case you were wondering.
This same time, years previous: sourdough waffles, fancy strawberry shortcake
"JUST FEED THE LITTLE TWITS when they start acting up." Thank you. I'll need to remember this when a small herd of children moves into my home, likely next year sometime.
Also, ice cream totally counts as dinner. And I'm not just saying that because I ate 3 pecan butter tarts for dinner last night! 😉
the domestic fringe
Our library doesn't have a kid policy, except that if they are acting up, they'll call the parent after a good scolding. I love it. My son rides his bike there and both my kids walk (together) to the library. Once my husband and I attended a town meeting and had nothing to do with the kids, so we dropped them off at the library. It was a desperate situation. I don't just use public places as babysitting centers, but sometimes desperate times…
You should voice your opinion about the policy. After all the library is funded by the town and you're the town. Right?
I wonder if the kids-under-12 policy is in place mostly so the library people have an easy excuse to kick out kids who are acting up. I hope so, anyway…I remember spending whole afternoons at the library when I was about 8, while my mom went to do her grocery shopping and get her hair did and whatever. Both of us loved it (and this was in a city about the size of Harrisonburg).
I love our library's policy on unattended children
E. Unattended Children
1. Children have the same rights as adults to be in the library. They must follow library rules of behavior. If appropriate the parent or guardian may be called. If a child's behavior necessitates them leaving the library, and this leaving could pose a risk to the child, the local law enforcement agency may be called as well as the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (TDPRS), 599-5555.
The place is swarming with kids on holidays and after school. If they aren't reading, they are helping shelve books, preparing materials for the littler kids story time. The only misbehaving kids I've seen have been with their parents, who jumped all over the librarians for telling the children to behave. The librarians told the parent to leave, and that if they couldn't do it under their own power there were plenty of deputies next door.
Maybe you could forward the policy to your library board http://pda.hcpl.net/about/problem-behavior-policy?device=mobile . You might want to remind them that crime in the US is down again this year. The world is safer than we were kids. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303768104577460332267762086.html
Fight knee jerk rules that take away our and our kids freedom.
You've challenged me (in an empowering way)! I'll need to think on this some more. Thanks!
Sounds like a good day off to me!