Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Storytime at the Library - For the Kids or For the Parents?


My son and I have gotten into a bit of a routine. Kind of odd considering I have always struggled with being on a schedule or even being organized. I am a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of person. However, since we have been forced back into the school routine, my son started getting upset because he wasn't allowed to go to school with his older sisters. What can I say - the kid is in a rush to grow up.

So, when they brought back preschool Storytime at the Library, let's just say I was a little more than thrilled. In fact, I convinced him this was "his school!" Now, it really had nothing to do with the physical act of going to the library. After all, I don't check out books because I have so many I have yet to finish reading.... and since my husband got me a Kindle Fire for my birthday... I have even less time to put towards reading a physical library book. But my son likes going and choosing a special book for us to sit down and read together afterwards. And Storytime with a craft afterwards - that is an added bonus.

Last year I attempted to take him to Storytime and realized I was one of the bad parents. Ok - not really. But they say preschool Storytime is age appropriate for 3 years old and up. My son just turned 3 recently so we were a bit on the early side last year. However, I didn't really understand the importance of the age because I thought getting your children in front of a book, at any age, was important. After all, it was about teaching them to love books and stories!

So today as we sat in Storytime, I realized how incredibly insane it was in that very tiny room (and how grateful I was that I was not the one leading Storytime!) The noise level was through the roof and this was the library. I of course blame this on all the little kids under 3. See - that is why there is an age limit!! But the lady reading the story was nearly shouting at the top of her lungs just to try and be heard. My mind was swimming and I am pretty sure if Storytime was much longer, I might have gone mad!

So there is a kid over here that keeps adding there two cents into the story... there is a kid of here crying... there is a kid of here throwing a fit and a mom threatening to leave... and a kid over here trying to do the craft early... then there is my kid who refuses to participate. My mind was just spinning. But finally, after a round of "The Wheels on the Bus" and "The Hokey Pokey" (which my son refused to partake in as well), it was time to move on and do a craft.

Now my little boy is pretty particular about his coloring. Just a couple weeks ago he actually yelled at another child for scribbling over their entire page. Yet today, it seemed the parents were more into the craft than the kids, as they had basically taken away the paper and were coloring it themselves! I wonder if it is because they wanted to show off the craft project their child did? And then I wondered, when did we demand perfection on coloring from our preschool children?

So while I watch everybody around me, my son is getting down and dirty and concentrating really hard. Suddenly out of nowhere he yelled, "Holy Crap!" I think he colored outside of the lines. As the embarrassed parent of a swearing toddler I carefully looked around to assess the damage. Luckily, the noise level had yet to drop. Phew - I was safe and it was time to go.

By the end of it, I wasn't sure who Storytime was more for - the adults or the kids. The adults were actually more apt to participate in the songs and the stories than any of the kids, who stared ahead blankly as the moms and dads danced out the steps to The Hokey Pokey trying to get them involved.

My son, well, he growled at me and sat firmly glued to his chair when I encouraged him to participate. I am pretty sure those kids were thinking, "Who comes up with these songs!" And then when it came to craft time, the parents were the ones doing the coloring. I wonder why? This is a preschool craft after all and before they learn to be an artist, they need to learn to scribble.

So, even though I will continue to take my child to Storytime, I realize this needs to be more about him. The more I bring him, the more he will open up and start to interact. And frankly, he is proud of his scribbles that he brings home. For him, this is his school. And while I usually leave with a stress headache, this is just something we parents occasionally have to suffer through... and coloring our child's pictures will not make it go any faster!



8 comments:

  1. Stacy, I can totally relate, because Emma is around the same age as your son and turned three this past summer. She now goes to pre-school 3 ays a week for 2 1/2 hours, but last year we took her to the library in the evenings for a similar venue called Tots Night Out, where they did story-time, craft and circle time too. She loved it, but deep down I couldn't help but dread it a bit between the other parents and the level of noise secretly couldn't wait for it to be over each time, but went back every time, because she did enjoy it so much. So I can truly relate to your post on so many different levels!!

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    1. I think it is such a great program. I just wish you could just throw your kid in the room and leave them there while you go looking for a book! Or take some time to read. I love it because he enjoys it, but I have to say I get a headache almost every time. Must be the stress of hoping my kid behaves!

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  2. I think you're going to find competing parents everywhere, lol! So annoying, wish they'd just step back and let kids be kids. Oh, and also tell their children to have some manners and be quiet. Seems like this is lacking a lot these days - not like our generation. We wouldn't dare. Loved seeing the pics of your son colouring in - so cute! Sure things will get easier once he goes more and gets into the swing of things. :)

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    1. Yeah - I think it is the other kids that bug me more... I am used to my 3 year olds mannerisms. Luckily it gets easier each time we go.

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  3. Lol! I felt like I was totally there in the room with you. :)My girls are finally past the age for library story time, but I used to dread going. I'm glad the noise level drowned out your son's announcement!

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    1. Ha ha - that was definitely the positive!

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  4. I'm not gonna lie. This kinda gave me nightmares. And it was SPOT on! :)

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    1. Luckily you read it early enough in the day to recoup! ha ha!

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