Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mission Impossible: Library

Your mission, if you choose to accept it: attempt a library trip this evening with three children. Return your books, pick out children's books, books for yourself, a couple of movies, check out the books and pay the fine AND cause no damage to children, building, books or other property.

Complicating this mission is the fact that it is 6:30pm, and the children are generally in bed by 7pm or 7:15pm on No Nap Days.

We load up the van with the stroller and the previous library books and headed out. Things start out decently well: the boys stand on the sidewalk by the front of the van while I get Rosie into the stroller and grabbed the canvas bag full of books. They take off running toward the entrance as soon as I start moving, though. I hurry to catch up and call for them to come back. They seem to be hard of hearing today, but the doors slow them down. Pauly opens the door for me, and Roger runs ahead to open the next door by pressing the handicapped access button. We're all together now, maybe we can stay that way! They stay relatively close while I unload the books we're returning, but take off when I scan the new book shelf. I hurry to find them, but before I can get to them Roger is running back to me with Toot Toot, the movie he's picked out. Thank Goodness he knows where the Wiggles DVDs are!

I try to herd Roger toward the children's section and the puzzles and toys, while Pauly quickly picks out a kids' movie. We have a few minutes of peace while the kids play with puzzles and I pick out a few books for them and some for me. Luckily, the Derby Public Library is nice enough to have books of interest to parents on the shelves by the kids' section rather than with the other non-fiction books. Rosie is being loud this entire time, but she's just talking, not screaming. Then Roger takes off, and I chase after and bring him back. He tries again, but I've got a firm hold. I send him back to the puzzles, but instead he runs up to a bookshelf and pushes on the books. Great! The books shift backwards, sending all the books on the other side of the shelf onto the floor. I pull Roger over there to pick them up, and Rosie gets grumpy because I'm not pushing the stroller. We get the books picked up (Roger chooses one to take home) and I announce we're leaving, but we have to make a quick run through the adult fiction section. Unfortunately, I can't push my stroller with one hand very well, so I have only a loose grip on Roger. He AND Pauly (who really should know better) make a run for it.

I chase after both of them, collect them, then go back toward adult fiction. I have to let go of Roger again to grab the books, although luckily I don't have to do much looking, I have definite authors in mind. The kids amuse themselves by playing with the nearby card catalog computer while I check out the Koontz copyright dates (I'm sticking to his newer books) but stay in the vicinity. I tell them to pick up their books again and we head down the aisles to the checkout desk. My hands are full so they're on their own. Roger stops halfway down one aisle (we're in the adult non-fiction section), puts his book down and pulls a book off the shelf. "Airplanes! Pauly, here's a book about airplanes!" and of course Pauly has to go look. I tell Pauly to put the book back on the shelf, and keep heading to the checkout hoping they'll follow. They do, sort of. I get all the books on the counter, plus the movies and my card, then grab Roger's hand. Check outs tend to be bad. But there's a fine, and I need to get the money out and count it. I hand the librarian the money, then run to go get Roger (who is heading toward the door). We get back to the counter, and Roger starts yelling and flopping to try and get away. I hang on, and grin and bear it. Finally we're checked out, but I have to let go of Roger to put the books in the canvas bag. He's already out the first door by the time I'm loaded and moving, and I run to catch up. They hold the door open for me as we head outside.

I check the time after buckling the kids in, putting the stroller in the back and starting the car. It's been half an hour since we left the house. So, less than 20 minutes in the library, we emerge with 15 books, 2 DVDs, all the kids and minimal property damage. Mission accomplished!


  1. Wow, I am so impressed! The library is the last frontier for me. It's the one place I really struggle to do with the kids without ending up in tears.

  2. We've had many tears in the library! Things are some better now, after a few "Ok, I said no running (yelling, you name it). We are leaving. We will not be checking anything out. Let's go." and herding them out, everyone in tears. I'm often amazed that the librarians still let us is!


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