I have to start this post by saying I completely realize this is a half-lame issue that is not worthy of complaint, but I’m totally gunna complain about it anyway.
I had the fortunate opportunity to take the boys to story time at a new spot last week. I love story time. There may be nothing greater. Ok, there are lots of great things to do with the kiddos, but on a rainy Monday morning, I couldn’t believe I’d found a new spot offering just what the doctor ordered: some stories, singing, and dancing, to kick off our week with smiles. (Read: Yes, I’m a nerd, and I probably should have become a librarian…I certainly have the glasses for it.)
LM1 was totally down for our outing, which only made me more excited. We hadn’t been to a story time in a while. He was excited, I was excited, the baby slept well and was full of yummy food– the stars seemed to have aligned.
Then we got there.
Then we met a woman I’ll just call WS. For Wrong Side. As in, Of the Bed. Because this gal was not excited to be at story time. In fact, I’d say she was pretty annoyed and/or disappointed to be at story time.
Let me just say, if you don’t want to be at story time, you probably shouldn’t participate in a story time intended for 18-36-month-old children. Because they are not listeners. They are not participants. They are really just kinda there because Mommy is praying they will someday become listening participants. For my son, story time is an opportunity to get out of the house, think about books for twenty seconds, and consider how cool it could be to hang around other little kids before deciding to stop thinking about the other little kids entirely.
Well, Ms. WS did not come prepared for any of these facts (Yes, I’m calling them facts because everyone knows this. Someone tweeted it, and now everyone knows). We got some attitude from WS that came out like this:
1.) To a mom whose child didn’t want to sit down (which I find completely normal…and, personally, I refrain from sitting in most situations when I can): “If you can’t settle her down, maybe she needs a break.”
It’s still unclear who needed settling….
2.) To a child who didn’t pay attention to the book she was reading: “Eyes on me. We need to learn to pay attention.”
Uhhh…..what? They’re 1. They’re learning to figure out where their fingers are….
3.) To a child who giggled and ran across the room holding a pretend cookie given out by WS: “If you can’t follow directions, you will have to give the cookie back.”
Who gives a cookie to a one-year-old only to take it back???
4.) To the room in general: “Some boys and girls are not being good listeners.”
5.) To herself in a huff of frustration: “I don’t think that will work…we’ll just skip that activity.”
6.) To the entire room: “I am feeling a little sick, so I don’t want to have to shout at you.”
Wow. I don’t want this person shouting at children. I don’t want her shouting, period. Why is shouting an option at all?
Needless to say, it was awkward. This poor woman was working hard to try and get a room of one and two-year-olds to complete kindergarten level tasks and participate in story time by sitting quietly and not really participate in the way they know how to participate……yet…..I’m sure they’ll get there one day. Like, when they’re in kindergarten.
So, after feeling disappointed for myself and my kids, I started to really feel sorry for our humble storyteller. She was having a rough day. She appeared exasperated. Something wasn’t meshing for her, and it was not ideal. I wanted to pull out a magic wand and make everyone more comfortable. Hell, I could have started a stand-up routine with puppets and a bubble machine. But, alas, this could not be.
My take away from the situation was that I need to have more patience with my kids. I probably look and feel and sound like WS a lot more than I realize. I probably say silly things to my kids like, “Listen to me! You’re not being a listener!” And if they had the cognition to answer me in a complete, adult sentence, they would probably say something like, “Well, I’m 2, so, cut me some slack, Weenie-bobbins.” Or they might get witty and say, “I’ll understand to listen to your voice when you listen to my body language. Because right now, I’m more hungry/tired/bored than attentive right now. So, let’s get a granola bar and move on the the next activity!”
So, I don’t know that I want to take the kids back to story time with WS, but I sort of feel like giving her a second chance will be like giving myself a second chance. So…..I guess I’m gunna get that jam on the calendar for another time soon. But I may plan an escape route….in case she brings back those silly fake cookies.