Dear Library (or whoever made your rules),
Well, my beloved friend, we've always had a pretty stellar relationship; I fondly recall when our little affair began; you remember, don't you? Back when I loveloveloved The Babysitters' Club books? Oh, and that Ann M. Martin she just kept writing and writing because there were seriously more than 100 in the series. A girl of 11 couldn't afford to buy all those books let alone find time to read for hours on end when chores were mandated by my meticulously clean mother, so I was really quite stoked when I found that during the summer I could spend the whole day in your basement reading for free where no one would come disturb me. As I've grown, I've come to enjoy the vast amount of books you house as well as appreciate your other features: your awesome DVD selection, research accomodations and free Internet. Your generosity, of course, is your most outstanding feature because you let me take home tons of books for free every time I visit; it's really quite nice of you.
But I'm afraid we've come to a fork in our relationship; you see, I feel quite duped. I always thought you were a great, welcoming place full of wonderful, beautiful books. But that fascade has been unveiled ever since the incident. It's OK -- we need to talk about this, so please don't shy away; I know you saw me dragging my kicking and screaming two year old out of your brilliant front doors yesterday. I know you heard him shrieking and saw him thrashing his body about like a fish out of water. I know you saw me try really, really hard to keep my cool only to end up with a tantruming toddler in the end anyway. Maybe this incident was my fault. Maybe I should have known better than to bring a two year old to story time and a book-finding session. But, I beg the question: how was I to know our trip would end in complete epic meltdown disaster? Afterall, you market yourself as so child-friendly with your humongous selection of preschool books, your lurings of story and craft time, your tiny-sized reading chairs and your fascinating fish tanks. But I've learend, after yesterday, that you're only child-friendly to those children who are completely smitten by books or puzzles -- not toddlers or preschoolers who like to explore, climb, touch or discuss everything with mom during the journey.
Did you know it's nearly impossible to get a normally well-behaved toddler to stop trying to ....
1. climb the shelves in an attempt to reach a book he wants?
2. take apart the fall display because the scarecrow is wearing boots and the two year old thinks they are so cool?
3. put his mouth over the drinking fountain spout yet not make a sopping puddle on the floor?
4. run away while I'm trying to pick out books?
5. press the elevator buttons a million times?
6. press his face up against the fish tank?
7. use a glue stick improperly during craft time?
8. climb on benches in order to reach very appealing puzzles?
And did you know that when you try to stop a two year old from doing nearly everything that he deems appealing, he then becomes so frustrated that he cries, kicks, screams and generally become a giant mess of mass formerly known as your son convulsing on the floor? Well, did you? If you didn't before, I'm sure you learned yesterday as two other moms and I ended up half carrying our totally malfunctioning two year olds while trying to simultaneously care for a little babe out of your not-so-kid-friendly confines.
See, I think we're going to have to be the type of friends from now on, dear library, that can only get together when the kids are asleep in bed at home. I know you say you like kids and all, but your general rules and design do not mesh for a two year old. You can't have benches yet expect them not to be climbed; you can't have tons of interesting stuff about which to talk but expect a two year old to understand how to whisper (they only have ONE volume!) and you cannot have books on shelves a whole foot higher than the average preschooler and not expect that little kid to try every attempt to get that book by any means possible -- climbing/catapulting/ rearranging furniture. The no running/loud talking/climbing thing is just the antithesis of a two year old.
So I'll either see you in five years, or I'll try to sneak over when the troops are on night rest. But I wish, oh, I wish, you actually were as two-year-old friendly as you seem. You'd save a lot of mamas from experiencing their first crazed public tantrums, I think. And you'd save us from having to pluck the new gray hairs that sprouted after dealing with the massive meltdowns.
Your former number one patron
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