Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Day in the Life, Part 3

The Library
We arrive at the library.  As I get C out of the car, I talk to her about the rules for the library, which are, “inside voices,” and “walk not run.”  I let her put the book we are returning into the slot and then we go to the children’s section.  She goes to look out the window and talk to a little girl while I use the digital card catalog to request a book on inter-library loan.

She says, “Hey, Mom!” in a voice to be heard from across the room.  I put my fingers to my lips to remind her to use an inside voice, and she repeated, “hey mom” in a quiet voice.  I moved to her side so she could talk to me without feeling like she needed to yell.  We go together to look at picture books and found two Eric Carle books she hadn’t seen before.  I'm getting hungry and want to go to lunch. 

“Do you want these?” I urge her.

“Yes!”

“Ok, let’s go check them out and go to Aero Dogs," I say, gathering our things to go.

“No, I don’t want those,” she quickly says and grabs the books out of my hand.

I know she likes those books.  What's going on?  It dawns on me that we hadn't been at the library that long and she may not be as ready to go as I am.  “Do you really not want them, or is it just that you want to stay longer at the library?” I asked.

“I want to stay longer,” she agrees.

“Ok, we can stay for ten more minutes and then still get these books.”

She starts playing with the wooden puzzles the library leaves out for kids, and I go back to the digital card catalog to look for a book that I could check out today.  She takes her puzzle across the room to a high table with a bar stool and starts talking to another older girl, and then she toddles across the room to get a puzzle for the older girl too.  When I'm ready to go look for my book, I go to the table.  

She isn't ready to come with me.  I suggest we put the puzzle together one more time and then go find Mama’s book.  She agrees.

I carry her on my hip, Eric Carle books in my other hand.  She is very interested in the library’s study rooms.  When we reach the Non-Fiction section, she gets down and goes back to the end of the aisle to look in the window of one of the study rooms. 

“Come here, mama, I want to show you something,” she says. 

I find my book and join her at the end of the aisle.  She tells me to look in the window at the study room.  I comply, then guide her with a hand on her back toward the checkout, but then she veers away to look at the desks and chairs we pass by.  She climbs in the chair and asked me to read her one of the Eric Carle books.  We read it twice through, and then I tell her it is time to go.  I ask her if she can help me push in the desk chairs.

Instead, she climbs under the desk and comes out the other side.  I walk around the other side and ask her to help me push in that chair instead. 

We start to head toward the checkout again, my hand on her back to guide her, but this time a copy machine draws her attention.  We look at it for a minute or so and then I pick her up and carry her on my hip as I head toward the checkout again.

She starts to fuss and try to wiggle down.  I set her down and get down at her level.  I tell her that it is time to go.  There is a sign that says to take crying children and cell phone calls outside.  I tell her about the sign, and say if she couldn’t calm herself down and cooperate with me while we checked out the books, we’ll have to leave the books there.

“But I want to stay longer!” she said.

I say, "It would be fun to stay longer, but that isn’t a choice right now.  It is time to leave.  You have a choice: You can choose to cooperate with me and then we can leave with our books, or you can choose to fight and then we have to leave without the books."

She calms down walks with me toward the checkout desk.  I direct her to a bench across from the desk where she can sit to wait. 

Lunch
After we check out, we go to lunch at Aero Dogs.  She wants me to hold her hot dog and feed it to her.  I do the first two bites and then show her how to hold it herself.  She acts as the unofficial welcoming committee as she says hi to all the customers and even asks some of them for their names.

I finish, and C is only halfway through her meal when DH shows up.  The owners of Aero Dogs are his insurance customers and he happened to have a meeting with them at this time, unbeknownst to me.

Our family spends some time chatting with the owner outside the restaurant.  C delights in going up and down the ramp to the platform in front of the plane’s ordering window. 

When it's time to go, I tell C we are going to go check on Pake (pronounced pah-kuh), which is what she calls DH’s dad.  She asks her Daddy for a hug and kiss goodbye.  He buckles her in and we drive off.

After a few blocks, she starts to fuss. “I wanted to wave goodbye to Daddy!  Let’s go back!” 

I empathize with her that she forgot to wave goodbye and then asked if she could blow Daddy a wave like she blows kisses.  From the back seat I hear her making blowing noises, and she is content the rest of the ride home.

Coming up: The Rest of our Day

Go back and read Part 1 or Part 2

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