For much of my parenting life, frequent trips to the library to check out back-breaking amounts of books have been a part of it. Once we moved into the Big Ugly House, it was even easier because all we had to do was load up the wagon with our books and walk 1/2 a block to our small branch library. I rarely had to set foot in the bigger, main branch, because I just had all the books I wanted transferred to my library and I'd send a child to pick them up. As my children grew older, they would take themselves to the library to feed their insatiable appetite for books.
Our family library trips ended when I was expecting G. and L. I just couldn't do it. After they were born, we went a couple of times, but it was far easier to just send older children to collect a bunch of books for themselves and the youngers. We might have continued this way indefinitely because toddler twins in the library in not really an improvement over baby twins. But a small tragedy struck in that our small, personal, and close branch library closed earlier this month. The easy life is over.
This morning, it was decided that we would resume our family library trips... twin toddlers and all. We managed, but boy are we out of practice! I anticipate a fairly steep learning curve for the next couple of months as we relearn our library visiting skills. Some of the complications? Well, G. and L. for one. The main branch has a lovely children's area, but we need to work on training the girls to stay within the confines of the play area. It's trickier with two in general, but because I tend not to take them places, they have very little experience with not wandering off. This will be an excellent way to build those skills. The same goes for K. I am paying the price for having built-in child care in the form of my older children, in that the very youngest in my household don't have much experience with errand running and the like. Let's just say, it shows. If I expect my children to behave in public, I am going to have to give them time to practice.
Everyone else did just fine and B. and A. were a great help with everyone else. (M. was not with us as she was at class.) Since the main branch is much, much bigger than we're used to, we are going to have to figure out a system that allows everyone to have to time to find the books they want. Plus, we just have to spend enough time in it so we know where to look.
The biggest bright spot of the morning was being greeted upon our arrival by one of our librarians from our branch library. The children all knew her and she knew all the children (by name) and was able to help each of them navigate and find what they needed. On the whole it wasn't a bad visit. Everyone came home with books, we didn't lose anyone, and no one had a great big noisy fit. But it will take a while before it feels comfortable...