Today we went to the library. Some of my readers also have a passel or more of children (for the purposes of this post a passel = 4). Some of my readers don't. So let me tell you all what walking to the library is like. First you start off with wonderful mommy intentions of taking your precious children to the library - whether for a story time or just for something to do to get out of the house. We are fortunate enough to live about a 15 min walk from the library (.5 mile - yes it really takes us fifteen minutes one way).
Step 1 - tell the children to get dressed. This will cause all sorts of questions from the monkeys "Where we go?" "Why?" "I'm out of shorts mom!"
Step 2 - tell the children to get on their shoes which is followed by "I can't find my shoes!" "I don't want to wear those sandals that are sitting in plain sight I want to wear my tennis shoes that are hiding under the curtain by the back door" "I don't have my water bottle" "NO don't leave me!" and generally includes a sobbing baby who just wishes I'd go lay her down for her nap.
Step 3 - collect the library books - this part is probably the least painful part of the process, they know they'll come home with "new" loot so they aren't bad usually about taking back the books we've already read.
Step 4 - Tell the children to go outside and wait on the sidewalk. Run around like a chicken with your head cut off ensuring that you have diapers for the baby, your wallet with the library cards, the sheets with the kids' reading list for the summer reading program so they can get their next prize, and a water cup for the still crying baby and you say a prayer under your breath that the tired baby will just give in and fall asleep on the walk.
Step 5 - THE WALK - this involves children darting about on the sidewalk in front of and behind me. They're super good about waiting at the corners for everyone to cross together. We do not employ the holding hand method of street crossing. I make sure it's clear and I shout at them to cross NOW! It works for us. So far. This step usually involves the three boys and myself spread out the whole length of the current block we're on at any given time. Often there is one or more child so far ahead that if they wanted to run away from me they totally could and often there is one or more child so far behind I think I could read a whole book to the other children before they catch back up. I often wonder what the people driving past us think of the whole thing. I can tell by the way some people turn a corner extra slow that they don't trust my children not to dart out into the road. Which is fine, I'd rather they be cautious but the boys pretty well know the danger of doing so and it has never been a problem on any of our walks.
Step 6 - enjoy some time at the library, return books, tell the children to be quieter, we're in the library, etc. Then we do steps 1-5 in reverse order - well except I don't generally tell them to undress when we get home and they just naturally kick off their own shoes (they are my children after all!).
At any rate a decent bit of exercise for mama, worn out kids make for great naps, and new books so we can finish our last ten books for our summer reading program by Saturday when we will load up in the van and go back a 2nd time this week to get our final prize.
Sometimes I think I could join the circus with my show.