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52 Weeks #2 - A Trip to the Library

I'm sure that it might surprise you to know that Little L has only been to the library three or four times in her two years of life, which is pretty infrequently given that I'm a total bibliophile and so is Hubbs. You are also probably a little surprised that going to the library would constitute an "event" or "activity" worth highlighting, given that it seems like such a regular thing to do for little kids.

Allow me to give you the back story:

The first time we went was when she was really little, and I think we were looking for a book for Hubbs. We took the Orbit stroller with us, and it was a nice little family outing that didn't require us to stay and linger at the library. We sort of walked in, looked quickly for whatever it was we were seeking, and when we couldn't find it, we walked out. At the time, Little L would have been too young to know what was happening, much less enjoy it.

The second time was an attempt to join the free and open-to-the-public Story Time / Singalong children's program last summer. That outing was disastrous because the majority of the children there were accompanied by nannies, not parents, and these caregivers were using the singalong time as their "break" from being on duty. As a result, there were many children running around in a chaotic fashion, loudly yelling and grabbing for those egg-shaped music shakers in a Lord of the Flies kind of scene. Little L was understandably uncomfortable and upset with the whole affair, and we left the program room about 10 minutes into it. We did hang around the library for a few more minutes until Little L had calmed down, but that was it.

I think we were back again once more shortly after that, just to enjoy the books, but I cannot recall any specific details about that outing to the library, except that I think Hubbs came and met us there and walked home with us. I do remember that Little L didn't think much of the experience, and wanted a nap and some nye-nye towards the end of our time there.

Anyway, we have stayed away from the place for the most part because... BEDBUGS. Yes, in the books. Google "Vancouver library bedbugs" and be horrified. Given my supergiganticenormous fear of bringing one of these suckers home, we have opted to buy books at the bookstore or online instead.

Also, in previous outings, Little L wasn't that interested in the library. She was too young to really understand what it was about, and that traumatizing Singalong activity didn't exactly thrill her to the idea of being there. I thought that perhaps some time and distance might erase the negative association.

Recently, however, my girl has started showing an interest in libraries, probably because she saw that Curious George had gone to a library. She knows that it is a place with books that you can read, it's a quiet place (in theory), and there is a lady behind a desk. I figured that, given this new awareness and understanding, I could be a little more intentional and take her there to show her a real library. Plus, I hadn't heard anything new about bedbugs in the last year.

When I asked her if she wanted to go, Little L was visibly excited and actually ran to grab her socks and shoes right away, yelling, "Go to the library! Go to the library!" as she raced down the hallway. Obviously, I didn't need to "front load" her expectations given that she already had some understanding of what a library was, and anticipated going to one.

Hiding Monkey Dunkey
We arrived at the library and she immediately started browsing the aisle with her "Monkey Dunkey," hiding him in the shelving and behind books. Little L was using her imagination, so I didn't really want to interrupt.  However, I did want her to see more than one aisle, so I coaxed her to walk a bit further. When she came to the bins full of age-appropriate board books, Little L handed Monkey Dunkey over to me so that we could read together. I chose a few books for her (Do You Wear Diapers? and Duck Goes Potty) and she loved both of them! (Do you sense a theme there? Cuz... yeah). She also liked Mem Fox's Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes.

Looking for books

More hide and seek with Monkey Dunkey

We explored the aisles some more, and played with Monkey Dunkey balancing on chairs and in various places, including on some nautical art piece that Little L was dying to touch (but I wouldn't let her - it was stinkin' fragile for being in a kiddie section of the library)! Then, she found the children's play area and "cooked" in the kitchen for a little bit; her favourite part of that was throwing red peppers into the "trash." LOL.

She *loved* this flip-top feature on the kitchen. Wish ours had one!

When that was done, I could tell that my little girl was getting tired, so I enticed her into leaving with the promise of a treat (Starbucks). It worked! She was very quiet all the way home, recovering from what was evidently a very exhausting outing. :) And just an hour or two after we got home, she asked to go to the library again! :)

This is the room they usually use for Singalong Story Times. She loved that it was empty and quiet!

This is promising, and even though it originally started as an intentional "fun activity," I suspect that going to the library will soon become a regular event in our household. That is, until another bedbug infestation is detected. 

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