Life in General

Libraries and little boys


Libraries are not for little  boys.

I knew that.

But I was being a good Facebook mom and taking my five little boys to the library.

Maybe it was the sunny weather or maybe it was my good mood, but for some reason I believed all those who told me that the local library was a great place for kids.

It’s beautiful, special kids wing, it’s new and nice, there’s lots to do there…

So there we were, heading from the parking lot to the library, reviewing library etiquette on the way. My little boys nodded along, agreeing with it all.

The first red flag came when we passed the fountain out front. The type of fountain that makes the minds of little boys race, trying to figure out the quickest way they can somehow get wet. On their tippy-toes, desperately trying to reach up and into the water…

Still optimistic, I gathered them up and reminded them of our exciting plans of actually going into the library..

The second red flag followed too soon, when we had to cross through the adult section of the library in order to reach our destination.

And it was silent.

I mean deafeningly silent.

It hurt my ears, I had not heard such loud silence in years.

I shushed my five little boys and rushed them through the room lest one of them makes so much as a peep.

And I silently wondered; what would happen if someone made noise in a library? Who said you can’t read in noise? I mean, I manage just fine. After all, I can read a whole recipe without the sounds of crying, laughing, shouting, toy fire engines and garbage trucks even slightly distracting me! Or maybe that’s why every now and then I mess up a recipe and forget an ingredient or two…

We made it to our destination. And just as I carefully planned, the after school crowd hadn’t come yet and the preschool kids were taken home for naps already, so it was just me and five of my little boys.

And they sat down at the little table with the  activities, long enough for me to snap a pic and Whatsapp it to one of my doubting friends, to say, “See, it’s working out great!”

Five minutes later, it was still working! I settled in on one of the nice inviting couches. Baby is sleeping, rest of the boys are busy; wow, this just might be a relaxing afternoon. We should come here every day!

Except for the other couch. The large u-shaped couch that has a wide flat surface leading from the back of the couch to the window. That, to my kids’ eyes, is nothing short of a stage. Or walkway. Or runway.

Warning 1, 2 and 3 are issued.

We are not climbing. We do not climb in libraries. How about a book about trucks? Chickens? Cities? People? Anything?

Like I said, libraries are not for little boys. Maybe that’s why I hadn’t visited the library in 7 years…it was suddenly coming back to me.

And perhaps libraries should call in moms of boys to design the kids’ section. Before consulting any contractors, they need to make sure the room is boy proof. No ledges or edges, no poles, no slats – nothing that can be mistaken for a play structure.

So out we went, with the little boys trailing behind, wondering out loud why we were leaving.

And I reprimanded myself quite firmly, “You can not be angry at them! Little boys don’t belong in a library, why did you take them there in the first place?!”

And off we went, to the place where little boys belong.

To the park.

And they played and ran and jumped; climbed and swung on the swings and splashed in the drinking fountain; acting like normal little boys because that’s what I was allowing them to be.

I have to remind myself of my mantra more often; Don’t believe anything you see on Facebook.

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