Just so you know

All right. I have ideas. I think about stuff. So here is the spot for stuff I'm thinking about and want to be able to share more broadly and possibly promote. Like I have time for this.

Everything is provisional at this point and subject to change in the future - as far as the blog is concerned. In real life some things will remain unchanged.

Also, our children are not really named Lenny and Linus. We are not that cool.

Feel free to share, rant, disagree, but please remember that I'm an actual person who tries to be respectful. I'd love it if you are and do to.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My (Mommy) Shout Out to the Public Library

More winter weather.  We didn't even make it to church Sunday due to an unfortunate combination of 5 inches of snow, a cold and the exhausting prospect of me getting both boys into and out of the van myself.  But I did make it to the "Legopalooza" at the library in the afternoon with Lenny.  We haven't gotten to the library much lately between nap times and school and life in general.  But I haven't forgotten how much I love it.  If you have kids under five and especially if you are a stay at home parent and you have a public library within a half hour drive you should check it out.  It could change your life.  Literally.  Going to mine changed ours.  In some really good ways.

A little backgound:  Lenny gave up his morning nap WAY too early.  I tried looking it up but couldn't find the exact month - possibly as early as 14 months.  So we started going to the library in the mornings.  Our library, as it turns out, has story time for toddlers one morning a week and for preschoolers another. We went to both.  Lenny LOVED stories and could sit through pretty much anything.  It became part of our regular routine and had, among others, the following advantages (some of which I never would have dreamed of):

  • Lenny got to play with (or beside) other kids his age.  We didn't really know any at the time, so this was his first chance. 
  • We checked out TONS of books.  Lenny LOVED stories.  Did I mention that?  He wasn't walking yet, so he would push them across the floor to me on his knees.  The great thing was that this meant that I wasn't reading the same stories over and over again.  In fact, mostly once was my limit.  The library was also pretty understanding about some ripped pages in those early days.
  • We discovered Thomas the Train toys.  Whether this was an advantage or not probably depends on who you ask.
  • I got to know other moms.  This even led to getting to know a whole group of moms who regularly hung out for play dates.  Most of those families have moved away from the area but one is still here and are some of our closest friends. 
  • We made friends with the library staff.  Naturally this is going to vary from one place to the next, but our library?  Awesome staff.  They know about books and kids and they want kids to have fun at the library.
  • We got to be in the city parade.  No kidding.
  • We were both (mostly) on our best behavior.  Lenny seemed to believe, for what felt like a LONG time, that there was a three foot tether between him and me.  He hated to have me out of his sight.  This made things easier at places like the library.  Also he was very aware of social situations and mostly seemed to want to figure out what he was supposed to do.  
  • Less screen time was had by everyone.  I was not tempted to zone out playing the latest computer game, checking email or surfing Facebook.  Lenny did sometimes play on the library's spiffy computers, but at leas the wasn't just watching mind melting drivel.
  • We spent more time outside.  We only had one car at the time, so when the weather allowed we usually walked to and from the library.  Our stroller and then our wagon became familiar sights at the library.  We could tote a lot of books with them.
So of course times have changed.  Preschool and now kindergarten have reduced the need to find times to play with other kids.  Lenny gets fewer stories read to him now that Linus is around.  But he's learning to read himself and brings books home from school that are just right for that endeavor.  But Linus is growing fast.  His turn for story time at the library is probably right around the corner.

Everybody's different.  But it's worth a try, right?  Free and fun.  What could be better?

Did I mention Kapla blocks?  No I did not.  Just one more fun feature of our public library!

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