Library Card for the WIN!

Today was a monumental day and will be recorded in the Holmes family history books.  It was the day Mr. Man got his first library card.  You can see his excitement here…

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This morning was a rough one for me.  After a long night of very little sleep due to a heavy, wheezing chest I was running a little slower than usual.  Getting ready for school seemed to take longer than usual.  I even contemplated keeping him home from school just because I didn’t want to venture out.  I knew better.  We finally made it to school a few minutes late and then Little Miss and I headed off to the store to buy diapers.  It was a dreary, rainy morning and all I wanted was for 11:30am to roll around on the clock faster so we could go home, get in our pajamas and watch classic Disney movies all day.  Somewhere along the morning I realized that I would have to either lay on the floor in their room all day or move their TV into our room so we could watch all the VHS tapes we wanted.  Since I didn’t really feel like doing either of those I remembered that you could check movies out at the library!

I decided to tell Mr. Man all about my plans and see what he thought.  I was hoping he would think it was cool–and he did!  I told him that he would get his own library card and he could borrow books and movies for a few days then we would have to bring them back and get some more.  I reminded him that we did the same thing with life jackets from our friends Miss “Mannie” (Annie) and Mr. Joe this summer.  We didn’t have any life jackets so we asked them if we could borrow theirs, used them on the boat up north and then gave them back when he and daddy got their hair cut a few weeks ago.  That little story didn’t help as much as I hoped because all he took from it was that he was upset that I took them back and he didn’t.  Oh how the specifics can tear at his little heart strings sometimes!

We drove to the library as he asked lots of questions about what they had, why he needed to use an indoor voice, what movie he could pick, if his picture would be on his card, etc.  After a quick diaper change for sis in the parking lot we ventured inside.  The librarian wasn’t as cordial as I had imagined her to be.  I thought it would be a joyous moment filled with lots of pictures of her handing over a card to him while they both smile and give me a thumbs up.  DID. NOT. HAPPEN.  Mom expectations!  In fact, he almost didn’t get a card.  She said that they don’t issue library cards until a child can sign their own name.  She asked if he could.  Dude, he’s 4 1/2 years old–of course he can write his own name but he would need a dinosaur sized box to do it in…not a little mousey box.  There is no spacial sense in a 4 1/2 year olds world.  Seriously, for hoping to cultivate a love in children for reading and discovery I think the library needs to make it a little more user-friendly for their smallest of book worms.

Since I learned there is no limit on books or movies you can check out at one time I decided just to get one for myself and use it as a family.  Mr. Man begged me for a card and I distractedly told him we’d see about it on the way out.  Being as it was our first time at the library I walked right up to the librarian and asked her if she had a list of book recommendations by age for the children {mommy expectation #2 for the day}.  She said they did not.  I casually mentioned that the Rochester Hills Public Library had a list on their website called 100 Books Every Child Should Experience {I heard of this list from a high school friend who has completed the list {maybe even twice now} with her children.} and then the kids and I walked away. We ventured into the unknown library by ourselves.  I was a bit overwhelmed.  I knew that I wanted my children to grow to love reading, walking through stories just by looking at pictures, take adventures and using their imagination.  I just didn’t know where to start.  I stood there thinking “Amy, you were a preschool teacher.  You know the good books.  You used to read them everyday to your class.  Think of the good books in your head and check a couple of them out.”  I just couldn’t think in that moment what MY children would like.  I didn’t really have a starting point since we already have our own little library at home and have read the “basics”.  Soon the librarian walked over to us and handed me the list of 100 books from the Rochester Hills library and said she just printed it off for me.  Score.  {and yet kind of embarrassing for them to have to use a different library’s resource instead of having their own.}

I tried to find several books on the list that I knew we didn’t have at home and I really struggled to find them.  Many were not there.  It made me wonder just how good our local library was going to be for us.  Finally, we settled on 3 books for each child and made our way over to the movies.  Again, disappointment.  I am thoroughly saddened by their lack of movies for children.  Remember I said I was in the mood for classic Disney movies?  Yeah.  Didn’t find them.  In fact, about the only “Classic Disney” I found was Peter Pan.  I also decided on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood since Mr. Man has been loving him some Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and I realized he had NO IDEA where the character originally came from or who Mister Rogers was.

After choosing those two DVD’s  we checked out.  I let Mr. Man do the process himself and he loved it since it was all digital and “express”.  We turned to say goodbye to the ladies at the front desk and he quietly pleaded again for his own library card.  I didn’t know what to do.  The ladies could sense that I had a little debacle on my hands and asked how they could help.  I told them he wanted his own card and they suggested we tried.  There is a space for your “printed name” and a space for your “signature”.  They said I could print his name and he could sign it.  They led us to a table where he could try his hand at signing it.  After a few unsuccessful strokes of the pen I realized that he needed my help holding the pen upright to even produce pen lines on his card.  He’s so used to using crayons and markers that will write no matter what angle you held them at.  He had no idea how to use this pen correctly.  I held the top of the pen and he looked at me and asked what he was supposed to do.  I told him to write his name just like he does at school and I would just guide his pen so he could see the lines.  After at least 3-4 minutes we finally finished and he “signed” his first library card!  No picture with the librarian.  No picture on it.  No thumbs up for a new adventure for him.  Nope. just a handing off of the pen, followed by a picture in the parking lot in the drizzling rain, standing in front of the library with his “loot” and official card in hand.

Reese Books

Fake Smile

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Overly excited smile!

Reese Library Card

The official look of the card.

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All of our loot.

Emmy Books

Sis showing me a “bug” in the book.

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Exploring our new finds.

{By the way: I really hope that after a visit to the library alone some day I can learn more about the children’s section and grow to love what they have to offer.  I’m holding out hope that there are some treasures in there somewhere, but has anyone else felt the way I do when they’ve visited this location?}