Wanna know something that sounds fun and wholesome and like a great memory-maker for you and your children? Me too. Because I thought that something could be a trip to the library in our good old American wagon last night, but it wasn’t. It sucked.
Perhaps my motivation was suspect. Yes, I was hoping to show off when Jeff called from out of town– “Hey, Jeff, we’re doing awesome even though it’s 110 degrees outside. I am not taking the children to some big box store where they can suck stale air and watch disgusting Americans consume crap they don’t need. Nope. We’re going to the library. How intrinsically imaginative am I?”
Oh. So. Imaginative.
In my defense, it was very hot, and I really couldn’t take one more trip through the soul-numbing aisles of Target. It was fun the first three days of the week when we did that, but I needed something more literary and cheaper, because three trips to Target is almost a mortgage payment.
Our .7 mile journey to the library started out serenely enough. Everyone had water. Everyone had his own snack pack. In a burst of Mommy magnanimity, I said “yes” to 7 different items that Sadie asked to bring with her, which effectively resulted in her packing in each of her new birthday presents. Which explains (1) why the wagon was almost too heavy to pull, and (2) there was barely any room for Simon.
One block from home: Sadie dropped her Dora The Explorer yellow brush in an intersection, but didn’t tell me until we had crossed. At that exact moment, a rogue cab driver hurtled through the intersection running over her brush. Ya’ll, that brush is about 4 inches by 2 inches, not exactly an easy target, but there are now tire marks all over it. (If you actually wanted to hail a cab in my ‘hood, good luck. Apparently, the only way to make them appear is to drop your child’s treasure in the street. PRESTO! CABBO!) Once the inevitable meltdown subsided, Sadie promptly put the brush in her mouth, but I didn’t even try to stop her because at least she shut up for three seconds.
Three blocks from home: Sadie and Simon were bawling because there wasn’t enough room in the wagon. And that’s how, on a 107-degree day I ended up walking down the street with a stuffed terrier under my arm. Guess what? Carrying a dog covered in synthetic fur isn’t a way to cool down on a hot day.
First five minutes in the library: Sadie climbed on the radiator, which lured Greta, the security guard, over to caution me that I have to watch my children more closely. “Thanks, Greta.”
The next 2 minutes: I picked out a book called, “The Children’s Book of Virtues,” by William Bennett, and started reading to them. To wit:
During that time: Simon pooped, which I assumed was his way of saying, “suck it, Mom.” (Simon had a point; the book is rather douche-y.) Guess who decided that bringing a bunch of stuffed animals and doll hair products was more important than a diaper bag? Yep. Me. Freaking genius move. Do you know how crap that sits in Simon’s diaper smells after a wagon ride in triple-digit heat? Can you picture it in your mind’s nose? Well, it was about 100 times worse.
Two minutes later: Simon ripped a page out of a book. I got whiplash looking for Greta to see if she was going to arrest us.
Four minutes later: Sadie and Simon both decided they want to color, so I asked Greta if there were any crayons for the children. She grunted me towards the “reference” desk. Crayons were procured and the children commenced to color.
1 minute later: I took my first deep breath since this sh*tshow started.
1 minute later: Sadie and Simon were positively engrossed in coloring their dehydrated hearts out. Sadie looked up at me and said, “Mom, I am busy doing my work. Don’t bother me.” Hmmm. “Don’t worry, Kiddo. I am just going to sit here and daydream about how I used to have more than 6 minutes to myself every day.”
DURING THAT THOUGHT: Greta interrupted to tell me we have to leave because the library closed in 5 minutes.
The rest, dear readers, is a blur of confusion, agony, pathos and heat stroke.
But, man, I have learned my lesson. Screw literacy and libraries.
Next time: Target.