You Know Library Story Time Failed When…


(UPDATE: Check out our second attempt here)

He has gotten into cart of books before story time has even started.

He does sprints in and out of the room.

You’re ready to leave after the first page of the first book.

You have to strong hold him to sit in your lap.

Your arsenal pack of toddler distractions (binky, markers, toys from home, etc) don’t work.

You’ve had to say, “Excuse me,” “Sorry,” “Ooops” to everyone else in the room.

You vow to never go back to story time at the library ever, ever again.

This is why I don’t do play dates. My child cannot be contained. That and because play dates are at the most ungodly hours. No, Moms Of Active Toddlers playgroup, I would rather eat breakfast than go to your 8:00 am play date.

On another note, I also hate saying “Sorry” because in all actuality I’m really not because he’s just an 18-month-old doing what 18-months-old do. Please tell me I’m not making excuses. It was our first story time and I hope his comfort grows more around the new set of “friends.” Otherwise, we will wear two jackets to brave the cooler Seattle mornings for outside play.

Where/what are your favorite play dates? Any tips for library story time?

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23 thoughts on “You Know Library Story Time Failed When…

    • Mmmmmm, tequila…………………. mmmm, handcuffs. 😉

      I have yet to connect with a local playdate group. I’m either picky, too tired, or too uninterested in the other parents.

  1. Library story time is probably best done after play-really-hard-in-the-park-playdate or right-before-naptime (as long as its that sleepy snuggly time, and not the meltdown-about-to-happen-because-i-am-too-tired naptime), kwim?

    I also think that library time is good, in theory, but sort of has this outdated kids are miniature adults feel, like what 18 month old can just sit perfectly still? Why can’t storytime involve movement?

    My favorite playdate is at the southcenter mall where there’s a starbucks right next to the little play area where Potamus can crawl around with is girl-friend and I can chat with mine!

    • Hit me up the next time you have a playdate at Southcenter, I live in Renton!

      I totally hear you on expecting little toddlers to sit *and* listen. He just wanted to run around, which is what we did after story time and did puzzles, terrorize books (and sometimes other children), and by the time we got home for lunch, he was settling down for noon nap!

  2. Library story time was exactly how you described it, and for some reason (even though I had previous experience) thought it would be a great way to get out of the house after the second one came along. Wrong! I then had the child that was running amuck and an infant on my boob (hungry at all the wrong times) I never went back. Ha!

    • I’m living your life, Jenelle! I may take up the suggestion from another reader to take him outside first and let him get his wiggles out before story time.

      I like the socialization he gets, mainly not because of the books or anything!

  3. Sounds like every single library story time experience I’ve had with my little one. I used to think the same thing (that he’s just doing what kids his age do)… but when I look around at 35 other kids, ranging in age from 6mos to 2yrs, I have to wonder if that’ not true. How can all those other kids do it and mine can’t? Now it could be that the mom’s of wild children don’t bring them to the library so I don’t see the other kids like mine, but it still causes me to pause and wonder…

    • Omg! That’s exactly how it was – he was *the only kid* that did all that. I knew that wasn’t a coincidence. But there was one other kid that had a major meltdown in the library gathering post-story time so that made me feel better!

  4. Ya mine was *the only kid* as well. Some of the moms would meet after library time and take the kids to play at the park. My son *the only kid* that runs and plays like a normal child at the park pushed another kid. The mom got mad at me and said ” why would you LET him do that? My son was just playing nicely.” Then her son cried forever! and she made me feel like a terrible person! When I look back I see her sheltered little boy being whiney at the park and my fun loving boy just wanted to have a little fun. Oh and no one LETS their children push someone, get real. That is when i decide story time wasn’t for us anymore. Most of the moms had very sheltered lives and their children led very sheltered lives. Maybe that’s why they sit still? They have never seen anyone have fun. HA!

    • Holy cow, other mom! Sheesh, I’m sure her child will get hurt way worse intentionally down the line. That is such a pet peeve in motherhood of mine – overbearing parents who do not know how to deal with different types of parents and/or children.

      Haha, good for you! I am so on the same page as you regarding letting kids be themselves and explore their natural world. It’s life.

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  9. I just want to tell you that any children’s librarian worth her salt will not care if a child is wiggly or even running around. My mom is a children’s librarian and she GETS IT. I had to take my 3yo multiple times before he paid any attention or sat for more than a minute! After several times he now enjoys the stories and participates in the songs. I would encourage you to go again and just stay in back if he gets excited. It’s cool. He’s a youngster. My mom says it’s amazing how many kids who seem like they are not paying any attention come home talking about the stories, doing the motions, etc.

    If that librarian is fussy about kids running around then she needs another job! I hope you can find a story time that works for you.

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