You might remember the ridiculously embarassing library incident I wrote about last year. Come to think of it, I think it was about this time last year, so apparently I like to make library disasters an annual thing. But guess what? I’m not satisfied with only a once a year episode of “Holy Crap Why Did I Do This to Myself?” I plan to go back for more.
Last week I met my friend Lori at a library in downtown Round Rock, which although I am a city girl, won me over with it’s quaintness, especially when a little old man came over as I was unloading my stroller to take a peek at baby Zoe. He was absolutely enchanted with her, and I was starting to think I wasn’t crazy to leave the house after all. But that’s about where the good feelings ended.
Here’s how we do it: I have to shove the double stroller in the front seat of my car, because even though I bought a bigger car, it still doesn’t fit in the back since R & C now take up the 3rd row seat. Z either goes into the back seat of the stroller in her carseat or sits in the seat itself, one of the twins sits in the front seat, and the other walks holding my hand. Pushing a bus of a stroller while walking with a toddler? Not easy.
So this particular day, we make it to the library *gasp!* on time, meet up with Lori and her kiddos in the lobby, and head to the story room. I position the stroller and we go to get our nametags, only instead if staying with me to get them, R & C start exploring the room. No biggie. Lori and Avery sit down (let me mention that Avery sits and listens like a perfect angel and Eli doesn’t make a peep), and I go retrieve the stroller, only to notice that one of my children is missing. Yup, the door to the room is open, and Rachel took off next door to the apparently more exciting story time. Come on back, girl.
The rest of the story isn’t that different. A whole slew of children sitting and listening quietly, and my two hanyacks running wild, checking out other people’s sleeping babies and trying to yank the wall decorations down. The one day I forget snacks, there are constant, “Eat? Snack?” requests. And of course, Zoe, who is normally super easy going baby on the rare occasion we go out, decides the library is the perfect place to scream bloody murder. So here’s me, holding a cranky baby and running around the room trying to tame two wild monkeys, one of whom keeps rolling around on the floor and whining because she is apparently starving to death. I don’t think the story time is halfway over before I am dragging my stroller and kids out of there, and as I’m putting Z in her car seat, R & C take off into the main portion of the library, where there are a multitude of signs that specifically say, “Kids found running through the library will be instantly drop kicked out the front door and their parents given a stern talking to.” Or something to that effect. I wait for someone to say something to me just so I can fly off the handle at someone in my frustration. I yell at my kids in the car, which they totally didn’t deserve, and we all cry the whole way home. Much like last year’s library debaucle.
When I vented my feelings to my mom’s group, I got tons of support, ranging from “It’s happened to me, and the more you do it, the easier it gets,” to “It’s happened to me, and I never went back!” We’ve done story time before Z was born, and it was hard, and yes, my kids still did more exploring than they did listening, but I really wanted this to be something we could do, and I knew they would get better as they got used to it. The difficuilties in my pregnancy made it hard for me to continue, and now having a 6 month old makes it even harder. It makes everything harder. Usually play dates or events happen in the mid morning, right when Z takes her nap. Sometimes she’s ok skipping it, sometimes not, but as she sleeps best in her bed, she never naps while we’re out.
Another benefit of whining to my mom’s group is that I was immediately contacted by several of my friends who described a more toddler-friendly story teller at the RR library, and even offered to accompany me to another story time or play ground date. If we were going to disturb a group of kids trying to learn something, we were going to do it twin style. And while some situations I am still not comfortable doing with twins +1, it warms my heart to know that so many others out there are willing to help me get more comfortable out of the house. Staying home all the time gets lonely. Having the three kids, one of which needs a lot of attention and two of which still need constant wrangling, keeps us home a lot, and even when we do get out, it’s work. Hard work. Just getting them in and out of the car wears me out, not to mention packing the bag, prepping the snacks and drinks, loading the stroller, and keeping a constant eye or hand on everyone. It’s just a twin thing that having 2 toddlers really makes it much harder to teach those toddlers to stay with you when you are out. Staying home all the time and not seeing all of my friends as often, I sometimes feel like I have dropped of the face of the earth. But as disastrous as some of these outings can be, I know that when I stop getting invited, then I really have.