Thursday, May 14, 2009


Isn't that what you think of when you go to the library? Apparently someone forgot to tell my children.

I thought that I would be a nice mommy and take my children to the library yesterday. Now I remember why we have not been there since last September.....what an absolute nightmare!
So, we had the "talk" in the car on the way to the library:
"We have to be quiet in the library. You can look at books, you can pick some books to check out, you can sit at a table with your books but you CANNOT yell, scream, run, hit, or throw books on the floor."

Well, it seems that my children got the speech all backwards. Everything I said that was a "can't" or a "don't" they thought was a "can" and a "do."

As we entered the Children's Room at the library, we were met by a large dog. Yes, you got that right, a dog! Well, he was on a leash that a nice elderly lady was holding. Two out of my three children are terrified of dogs. As the lady was explaining to us, "This doggie is very nice. She is a therapy dog," I had my 4 year old daughter climbing up my leg and my 2 year old backing into me screaming, "EWWWWW, EWWWWW doggie." And I DO mean SCREAMING! I don't really know why he was saying, "Ewww," as opposed to just crying but he was.....and he was LOUD.....and it was embarrassing.

If only I had known that this was only the beginning. We should have gracefully (yeah right) made our exit right then.

Luke's eyes lit up when he saw the book shelves. Actually, it was not the books that excited him; it was the aisles between the book shelves. Those wide open spaces just looked perfect for running.

Zachary was off to look for a book on reptiles.

Emilie asked me to ask the librarian to help her find a book on princesses. As the librarian tried to help us (to no avail), Luke decided to run around and knock books onto the ground. I was trying not to be rude to the librarian but I kept trying to get away so that I could catch Luke but she just kept talking and talking about how she "just could not believe that there was not one book about a princess in the library." Yeah, yeah we gotta go!

I hear another librarian say sweetly, "There is no running in the library." As Luke goes streaking by. I really wanted to defend myself and say, "You know what? I already told him that and I would really like to spank him because he disobeyed but I am afraid that you will call the police. And that is why I am talking in my fake nice voice to my child and glaring at is so that he and I can go home together where I can discipline in private."

Then Emilie says that she has to go to the bathroom so I grab Luke and take him with us and tell Zachary that he can look at his books.

As Emilie is going potty, I give Luke a lecture. "Luke, you need to stay next to mommy. You cannot run around. You cannot pull books off of the shelves. STAY RIGHT NEXT TO ME!"
He sweetly says, "Ok mommy, I stay next to you."

As I turn around to help Emilie, he grabs the handle on the bathroom door and starts yelling VERY LOUDLY and jiggling it around. He must have unlocked it because a lady pulled the door open and was ready to save this child in distress. She was surprised to find me standing there with my two children. She apologized for walking in but I am sure she was thinking, "That lady needs to control that kid!"

When I left Zachary, he had found 2 books about snakes so I told the kids that it was time to go look for a book for mommy. Emilie had about 8 books so we had about all we could carry. (A good mommy would have brought her "Library Bag." Whatever.) Zachary declares that he is "done" with his books and now wants to put them back and pick out some others. Through clenched teeth, I help him pick out 2 books about Sharks. Let's go!

As we walk out of the Children's Room and enter the main library, Zachary decides to become a spy. He weaves through the book shelves and jumps from one aisle to the next, always keeping an eye on me but I could not see him. So I am hissing, "Zachary, come here. I want you to be right next to me." He would jump out for a moment just so I could see where he was but then he was off again. Ok people, this is my (almost) six year old! I could not believe how horribly he was behaving.

Well, Luke thought this was awesome. He decided to run after Zachary and try to find him. When I caught up to him, I grabbed his hand and said, "Luke, you need to hold mommy's hand." He said, "Noooooo." And tried to wriggle away from me. So I had to use the "death grip" and try to hold his hand without crushing it. That was when he began to sob.

Ok, forget mommy's book. Let's find Zachary and get out of here. We go to the self check-out. I scan my library card. WHAT?! I owe $21.75 in late fees! Aughrrr!

So we have to go to the Accounts Counter to pay our bill before we check out. Luke decides to crawl around on the floor and yell, "wah, wah," pretending that he is a baby. I tell him to get up and stand next to me and he does NOT so I quietly "discipline" him. He yells, "Owww, don't pinch me, mommy." And starts to cry.

The man who is taking my check says, "You've got your hands full." Oh, how I just love it when people say that. REALLY? YOU THINK SO???

I was trying to think of an appropriate punishment for Zachary's bad behavior. I considered not letting him check out his two books. But then I felt guilty because I knew that we would not be coming back to the library for a VERY LONG, years. So, I settled on letting him check the books out but he was not allowed to have them until tomorrow. Yeah, I know.....I am a weanie.

I do have to say that Emilie was very well behaved. That girl does have her moments but thankfully, she made some good choices while we were at the library. If she had joined her brothers on their "Team Obnoxious," I probably would have had to call CPS on myself.

So, we finally made it to the car where I told Zachary how disappointed I was in his behavior (all the while, Emilie chiming in "Mommy, I was good, wasn't I? I stayed right with you, didn't I? I listened to you, right mommy?"). Next, I gave Luke a 2 year old version of the same speech.

Going to the library is a bit like childbirth for me. It is excruciatingly painful at the time but then as time passes, I forget the pain and do it all over again. I vow to remember. No thank you on both accounts: library visits and childbirth.


cyndie said...

oh my gosh heather, i'm sorry for your day. but your telling of the story made me laugh out loud! :)

my mom took makenzie to the library last week without anything but the library card. i had a $17 fee and my dad had to drive down to the library to pay it. hahaha. when did library late fees get so expensive!?!

nates5bs said...

Just wait until they're older. It's just barely a blessing to me this spring. I know we'll be enjoying it often this summer, but in the past I vowed never to return!

Pamela said...

Heather, you crack me up!! but I'm sorry for the awful time ;)

Cindy said...

wow, what an absolutely freakin nightmare, so glad it was you and not me, nice mom huh? You should enter this in a writing contest, I felt like I was there, You're too much my Heather girl. Oh I must say, the baby game was pay back. You're such a good mommy and I really love you!

Allie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allie said...

Wow sis! You really do have your hands full, don't you!?!? You and Matt should really start thinking about disciplining those kids of yours. Maybe ask Matt's mom for some advice, I don't think we had any behavior problems on our side of the family ;)

Joy said...

Thank you so much for sharing that story. I can totally sympathize. My younger two boys are crazy at the library! I get so embarrased sometimes when I am telling them to be quiet and stop fooling around and people start staring.
I have heard the "hands full" part so much that I am sick of it.
Oh, and I had so many late fees last time that I couldn't use my card until they were paid.

Laura said...

I am laughing so hard right and Teri need to take your shows on the road.

Anonymous said...

Heather, I could picture every scene in the library like it was a video! I had to say that I felt embarassment for you at times and at other times I was too laughing out loud. The joys of motherhood. Maybe I never took Janece and Matt to the library at that age--what I missed out on!