So, I would say that overall, I am decently good at getting out of the house and doing fun things with Ella on a daily basis. The little monarch basically demands such. However, I am absolutely horrible at making it to any event that has a prescribed start and end time. I don’t know what my problem is (well, it’s mostly Ella), but it just takes so stinking long to get ready and loaded into the stroller/car.
Therefore, we do not make it to storytime at the library nearly as often as I would like to. I so desperately want to take advantage of a fun, FREE, close-by entertainment venue (plus, the whole “early childhood literacy” thing is nice too). My goal is twice a week, and we are lucky if we make it once. This is pathetic, considering there are two times of day to choose from, it happens four days a week, and we live three blocks from the library. This past week, seeing as it’s a new year and a clean slate, I was determined that we would make it to the 11:00 session on Wednesday. Let me just narrate our morning for you:
8:30: Ella and I are both up. I tell her we are going to storytime today (she has no idea what I am saying, but verbalizing it somehow makes it seem more set in stone).
9:00: Feed Ella breakfast, decide for some reason that today is a great day for me to find and start a new bread recipe (?), after a few minutes of browsing ideas I tell myself to focus and get back on track.
9:30: Try to shower while Ella pulls the curtain back and bangs on the side of the tub, trying to climb in. She did get kind of messy during breakfast so I decide to just pull her in with me even though she just had a bath last night.
9:45-10:15: Get both of us dressed and presentable. Try to put on makeup that is scattered around the apartment floor a la Ella. She is extremely angry that I am picking up her handiwork so I try to distract her by putting “blush” on her face (just my powder brush, sans powder).
10:20: Decide that we should also feed the ducks while we are out so I try to round up some random stale break items to take (this would later prove to be a terrible idea. That’s a post for another day. Starved, mangy, winter ducks are not for toddlers to feed). Start to realize my extreme tendency to get distracted might be to blame for the fact that we never get anywhere on time…..
10:30: We are getting down to the wire if I want to walk to the library. And since Dave took our car to school today that’s my only option. Try to wrestle Ella into her coat and shoes while she growls for “puh.” (This means “up,” As in “pick me up.” But lately it’s just become synonymous with “get me out of here, I hate this.”)
10:45: Finally leave, walking very briskly (after I get my hips get stuck between the handles in her stroller as I tipped it back against myself to carry it down the stairs. Doesn’t make me feel great.). I hit a crack in the sidewalk that causes poor Ella to fly forward in her stroller at an extremely high velocity and be clothes-lined by her straps. Thankfully she isn’t old enough yet to hold these sorts of things against me.
|Old and completely staged picture of my perfect child enjoying carefully-selected and developmentally appropriate literature
10:55: We miraculously make it on time! We snag a pretty good spot in the circle. Within seconds Ella is up and toddling determinedly towards the rows upon rows of books, ripe for the plucking. The nice storytime guy tries to give Ella a die-cut letter “O” to entice her back over which she shoves in his face. I make up some sort of stupid excuse to make him feel better (“she’s shy!”).
10:56-11:04: I keep trying to coax Ella away from the bookshelves and back towards the story circle. Unsuccessful.
11:05: Story time finally starts. We have lost our good spot but find another decent one. Ella toddles gleefully toward the center of the circle where the cheerful storytime guy and girl are performing an energetic routine of kicks and stretches (it’s “O” week, after all. O is for Olympics). I foresee disaster as Ella is standing behind their swinging limbs, all parties oblivious to eminent injury. I awkwardly lurk in the background of their rehearsed little show, trying to get Ella to come back to me, and effectively distracting everyone else. Wonder incredulously why no one else’s toddlers are anything but captivated and quiet…..
11:10: Ella wanders away again. This time she wanders to the computers where some preschoolers are playing educational (?) games. She bangs on their keyboards and I make a big show of saying “Ella, you can’t play on those right now, it’s someone else’s turn!” for the benefit of their hovering parents.
11:20. We try to go back to the circle one more time. We have now lost our backup spot so we just stand about ten feet back and I hoist her into the air so she can catch a few minutes of the puppet show. She’s disinterested and shreiks for “puh.” Ironically, this time that means down.
11:25: I notice that Ella’s diaper is in desperate need of changing. We rush to the diaper station in the bathroom (filthy filthy filthy).
11:30: We emerge just in time for the goodbye song.
Well, that’s a wrap on storytime. So glad Ella got a nice big dose of literary enrichment for her day. Next comes the part where we try to go feed the ducks at the duck pond on campus and are almost eaten alive. But that’s a story for another day.