Welp, I can finally say we tried Story Time at the library. And I can finally say, I told you so (to myself). Wow, what an awkward memory I've just made. Perhaps the most awkward of all memories since Scarlett's birth. Eek.
For weeks, even months I've been feeling somewhat guilty about not bringing Scarlett to the library. I mean, it's such a typical mom thing to do. Take your toddler to the library for a story. Simple. Something to do in the A/C while it's a thousand and four degrees outside. Opportune time to try, right? But... Scarlett isn't your typical Story Time client. Scarlett doesn't really care to listen to what other people are saying. She doesn't sit still - she is very much on-the-go and very much wants to do-do-do. But then again, a short story, a group of children, a fun, bright setting... how bad could it be? Well, had I known what Story Time actually entailed I wouldn't have even attempted it.
We arrived early so we could play for a bit. Scarlett loved the big wooden boat play area - she dove in and found the puzzles and blocks right away. She also took a shine to the various plush puppets laying around. I grimaced as I stuck my hand into Filthy Clifford - but Scarlett smiled. I sat silently as the boy next to Scarlett reached for the same puzzle pieces with a hand and face full of green slime. His mama said, Oh you've got a runny nose! And left it at that. Runny? More like toxic waterfall... but whatevs. Various kids gathered around playing and sharing and snatching and falling. Scarlett rather enjoyed this mini circus. Then came the bell.
A bell was somewhere ringing and children and mamas alike were gathering belongings and hurrying toward a door. What's this, now? I watched as though a fire drill was taking place. Okay, I guess Story Time takes place in that room over there, behind that closed door, with that smiling lady. I alerted Scarlett to this scenario and to my surprise the fury was unleashed. She clearly did not want to leave the play area OR head anywhere near that door, that lady or that swarm of regulars. I let her know we were going in there to sit with all the other kids for a story. She VERY reluctantly obliged. The smiling lady gave me an extra smile (you know the one you get when your child is whining and carrying on) and I told her we were newbies and I wasn't quite sure how this would play out. She assured me we can go in and out as we please but urged me not to miss craft time because it was going to be really fun. Craft time? Yeah, that's not going to happen.
If we'd sat any further back in the room we'd have been on the window sill. I desperately tried to convince Scarlett that this would be fun - while still trying to figure out what the hell I was doing in that room. I felt ridiculous sitting there on the cold tile floor holding a little girl against her will. We were all jammed in there, in a wacked out circle listening to our smiley director give her greeting. Everyone was pretty excited. I felt seasick. The songs broke out. Songs??? Scarlett loathes sing-a-longs. She is petrified at every birthday party. This is going to be a disaster. Three songs were sung but I can only remember You Are My Sunshine as I was rocking S and begging her to uncover her eyes. Kids were having a blast, caretakers were doing all the hand motions and sign language - these people were clearly weekly participators. Finally it was time for the story. Thank God it was a super short one, something about penguins and bath time. I described each picture to Scarlett as she all but begged me to get out of that room. We left as the teddy bears were being handed out. WHEW!
Scarlett was back to putting together puzzles and building block towers happily. I thankfully dodged the teddy bear and craft time bullet. I am NOT judging those other parents/caretakers - by any means - but I couldn't have felt more like a fish out of water in that room. I'm just not 'that mom'. The clapping, sunshine spreading, sing-alonging, song-dance-jumping mom. Maybe someday I'll morph a little better into that mold buuuuuttttt not today. Or tomorrow. And we're never going back for Story Time. It's just not our bag.
We watched as the happy children ran out from behind the closed door holding their fun, painted picture that they created during craft time. Scarlett and I lingered behind the fish tank until I could break out without looking like the mother who sucks at library interaction. It's okay though, not every new experience is going to be a success. We learned that lesson early on at the Christmas Tree Farm. Either way I can write this down in Scarlett's baby book... Library Horror Show, CHECK.