Thursday, September 15, 2011

Some Moms Go To The Gym For Exercise. I Go To Story Time. Same Thing, Really.

Yesterday I took Toddler to her first “story time” at our local library.  I left sweaty and exhausted, OF COURSE I DID.  Doesn’t everyone?   

It’s like, the easiest activity ever!” I’ve been told by other moms.  So story time should’ve been a treat, but it wasn’t. As a toddler, Preschooler had sensory issues that made even a quiet group of children overwhelming.  I tried two story times, and each time she’d be an inconsolable mess ten minutes into the activity.  

Despite that experience, I went to story time with Toddler in high hopes.  Toddler didn’t have such sensory issues, and she loved looking at books and playing games like “Where Is Thumbkin” at home. So off we trekked to the library.

We entered the big story time room with about fifteen other mothers and children.  A semi-circle of carpet squares were set up, one for each child. I claimed a teal blue square smack in the middle, and set up camp.  Then I attempted to have Toddler sit on my lap.  This was a mistake.

She howled.  She did not want to sit still.  She would not, could not on my lap.  She would not, could not on the square.  She would not, could not anywhere.

Story time began with a softly sung song that presented the opportunity for each mother and child to introduce themselves.  Toddler sobbed and flailed louder than ever.  I got sympathetic looks from the other mothers, but my kid was still the only one entering full tantrum mode.  And once she’s in tantrum mode there’s no big red emergency button to press for her to stop.  Like the Energizer Bunny, I have to leave the premises (or go up to her bedroom at home) while she slowly winds herself down.

I was almost set to leave when I decided that maybe I’ll just let her walk around.  But the minute she starts destroying something, we’re out of here.

Letting her walk helped a bit.  She wandered around the extremities of the room.  She crawled under a table.  She walked around the semi-circle of kids, stopping at each kid “duck, duck, goose” style, thankfully without the requisite pat on the head. By the way, for any readers in MInnesota it’s “duck, duck, goose,” not “duck, duck, gray duck.” Get with the picture.  

Despite this, I had to chase after her every minute or two to prevent her sticking her fingers into electrical sockets, tearing books off the bookshelves, or crawling in the librarian’s lap to snatch the book out of her hands.  I was starting to sweat from the sheer exertion of distracting her.

After the story, there were some songs and gross motor activities ala “Head, shoulders, knees and toes.”  Toddler would slow down every minute or two to reach for the sky and do a little dance. Despite this, I still had to chase her arounds the room to prevent her from causing any further damage to herself and others.

Finally, the librarian brought out two big bins of books and foam letters for the kids to play with.  The other kids naturally started flinging foam letters and books out of the bins, and my kid?  My kid starts picking up the books and letters, and putting them back into the bin.  

She might not be able to sit still for hell or high water, but she is a pretty good picker-upper.  I lucked out in that department.  

So we’ll try story time again next week, but this time I’m wearing jogging shoes and extra deodorant. 

It’s for the best.


Fox in the City said...

I am impressed that you even tried story time. Neither of my kids were designed to do well at something like story time. Little Miss would do just fine now . . . when she was a toddler not so much. Buddy is just far too busy. He might sit for 1 minutes after that he is off to the races, trying to get into as many tight spaces as possible.

I admit, I have on occassion, looked longingly at those moms with kids who can sit quietly and enjoy story time. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

We tried story time once with The Girl and once with The Boy. No sensory issues, but an excess of energy to be sure.

Lindsay Schultz said...

I'm getting to the point where I'm scared to go anywhere in public with mine. He has to RUN, get AWAY, climb, destroy, SCREAM. We need a support group.

Anonymous said...

Ack! It ate my comment!!

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Fox in the City - Who ARE these kids that can all sit still and listen to stories??? It's CRAZY!!!

@Joshua - The important thing is that we try.

@Lindsay - I will SO be joining that support group!

@Bettyfokker - Doh!

Jen said...

Hahaha! This made me laugh! I've totally been there ;)

jacqui said...

It sounds like the jogging shoes and extra deodorant would be a good idea! But I wouldn't mind having such a good picker upper hanging out at my house sometimes...that must come in handy!

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Jen - glad to see I'm not alone!

@jacqui - I really lucked out on that one!

Anonymous said...

My SAHM group posts story time outings several times a week, and that's one activity I just can't bring myself to do because of this exact reason!

Minus the picking up part. How DID you manage that?

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@MamaMash - I have NO clue.

Everyday Goddess said...

oh wow, this brings back memories!

nothing like elementary school, you'll love it!

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Everyday Goddess - I am both excited for and dreading elementary school.

Jordan said...

I don't know where parents find the energy to keep up with their kids. I know I couldn't do it.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Jordan - me either :)

TexaGermaNadian said...

Haha, well considering the library is free, you saved a lot on a gym membership! lol. So glad you linked up to the Storytellers Blog Hop today. Hope you are liking the reads!

Vapid Vixen said...

That's so cute that she was picking up after the other kids and putting it all away. Hooray!!

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@TexaGermaNadian - Thanks!

@Vapid Vixen - I know, that was an awesome surprise :)

Afrodita said...

OMG! My life right now! Exactly. Although, I don't say this but, sometimes I get a little angry to baby M. Then, I get back in my senses and really hard try to remember she did not mean to be different than the "ideal". Boy, do I swear? do I leave fast? do I chase faster before an accident occurs? Yes and somehow I do need extra deodorant because I stink at the end of the day.
The End.

-mama and the city