Fun at the Library

Emily doesn’t often get to see other children her age or interact, so I signed her up for a library story and song time program for toddlers. Never having been in a group setting like that, Emily was very, very interested in everything that went on.

We got there early, so she first had to check out the giant red rug decorated with letters and numbers around the border. When all the children arrived, I wasn’t sure what her reaction would be. She is a friendly child and not clingy in the least. She walked up to one little guy who only came up to her chin. “Hi!” she said cheerfully. The cute little boy continued to suck his finger and take Emily in without comment.

The songs all had various hand motions and directions which she didn’t know, so during song time, she settled for jumping up and down the entire time. A shape matching game was next, and she was thrilled to take her colored square up to the magnetic board with the other children. She didn’t want to come back and sit down again, but a word or two brought her back to sit by me. She sat still for the story, but kept looking at all the other children.

Afterwards, she was excited to see a cart rolled out filled with toys the children could play with. She couldn’t make up her mind which one to take, so we took one at a time, and she tried them out.

She gave a breathless and rather garbled account to her daddy over dinner later on. “Toys on cart, jumping up and down, children and barn with cows and horses and songs…” Afterwards, she got a hair cut at the “lady shop” as she calls it, so it was a very exciting morning for a 2-year-old. The library program is 6 weeks long, so we’re going back next week for more fun.

I’ve never been a great proponent of formal early childhood education (preschools) for my own children. Having been able to be home with them, and in that my toddlers have always had a sibling to play with, it was easy to provide all the stimulation and teaching necessary. But Emily’s in a unique situation being like an only. Seeing her delight in the organized program at the library, I think a couple of mornings a week at a Christian preschool would be very helpful to her.

Onlies (or those like Em without near siblings) have to learn how to share, take their turn, and so forth with their peers, and having some experience with other children early will help her do that. Emily is surprisingly confident at this point socially, and hopefully, her sunny personality will help her get along well with her peers for a little play and learning time.

In the mean time, I have to admit it is a lot of fun, if a little surreal, to be standing with other moms, stomping and clapping along with our toddlers to, “If you’re happy and you know it…” Yes, being mama to a little girl makes me happy, and I know it!

P.S. The Valentine’s party plans continue apace. Emmy tells me that we will have candles with fire (lit candles) on the heart cake. Balloons as well. Some pink and red streamers should add a nice touch, and don’t be surprised if Emmy decides to add a Christmas snow globe and Winnie the Pooh to the table decorations! This is gonna be one wild party!

3 thoughts on “Fun at the Library

  1. Lisa Green Kentala says:

    I love this post! SInce my boys were almost 11 years apart I had two “onlies”. I did all the mom/tot classes in the area (including library story times). When my now 25 year old son was 3 he was in a Mom’s Day Out program at a Christian church twice a week. (in fact I’m attending a reunion of those same moms next month!). With my younger son we are lucky to have a small park district two blocks away – we were there so often he thought it was an extension of our house. Many have negative opinions of only children. I remember being quite happy when told about my older son “he doesn’t act like an only child!”

  2. Jessica says:

    I was taking Jojo to story time at our library too – until I started bed rest awhile back. We thought he would be in the same situation (not having any siblings close in age) but God has blessed with another due in a few weeks.
    I’m so glad to hear she had such a good time.

  3. Judi says:

    Our two children (16 months apart in age) LOVED the library programs and developed a very special relationship with the children’s librarian who was so good with young children. She would pull books that she knew they would like and call to let us know they were on hold for them. Sometimes they were brand-new books that she knew “had their names on them”. We were so sad when Mrs. Ward retired, but treasure those memories!

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