Friday, February 13, 2009


Day 44.

We went downtown this morning to Preschool Storytime at Harold Washington Library. We took the 55 bus, transferred to the red line train and made it there in just under an hour. It was an adventure and the kids would have been happy not to even go to the library - they love riding public transportation.

So, once we got there (with no stroller I might add), we went to the Children's Program room inside the Thomas Hughes Children's Library. I was excited - I mean, it had to be good, right? Afterall, it's the huge, beautiful, main branch of the library in the city.

Wrong. I expected so much more. The librarian was enthusiastic, but acted like she was on stage, not talking to a bunch of 2-5 year olds. She couldn't sing, she chose books that were way too old (and uninteresting) for them to follow along, and she acted like she didn't really like kids all that much. Hmmm...why are you a children's librarian? Besides making me want to study library science, this experience taught me something else.

I am grateful to be able to roll with the punches.

Storytime was the reason we took this hour-long trip downtown. It was supposed to be great. But not only did I not find enjoyment, neither did my kids. Dylan was mildly listening, but more excited about getting a drink of water and picking off a hangnail. Noah stayed still for about 4 minutes before he couldn't help but run back and forth from one side of the room to the other. Too structured. And again, too uninteresting.

So, we bailed. We stayed for twenty minutes and I could tell this was not working. So, instead of pushing through and staying for what we came for - we made our own fun. We left storytime and went to find more interesting books to read. We browsed the aisles, looked for our favorite authors, and decided it was time to study butterflies. So then we found the non-fiction section on butterflies and filled our bag with butterfly books so we could read and observe at home.

It turned out to be a wonderful morning, topped off by some pad thai and panang curry at My Thai before heading home. Sometimes, I can get so stressed trying to make things perfect or enjoyable for my kids. But by letting go, and letting my children take the lead, we had way more fun.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Hilary-Just wanted to let you know that we had a similar experience at HWL storytime. I thought Sean would love it (this was awhile ago, when I was pregnant with Meg) but it was a bit of a letdown. I don't know if it was the same librarian or not, but something about it just didn't "flow" for some reason, and the books were way too advanced. I couldn't keep him sitting and interested, and other moms were having the same issue. In the end, it turned out to be more fun just looking at all the displays at the library, and after a while we stopped going. The library is still fun, just not that storytime!

    PS-I love your butterfly research project! I think I might copy your idea.