Annalise, Center Stage at the Library

Well, I finally got Annalise to the story/play time at the local library. I’d never been before, and wasn’t sure what to expect since the target age group was listed as “walkers.” I assumed it would be chaotic, because I do know my energetic, little Annalise…

A bunch of moms showed up with their kids early, all playing downstairs with the toys and books. We’ve been there before, so Annalise was tearing into everything making herself at home. I know she has a deep love for other kids (and Mama freeing her from the house), so I wasn’t surprised to see her plant a few kisses on unsuspecting kids. Thankfully, other moms didn’t slap her smiled.

We head upstairs and the room is huge. Picture a carpeted conference room with a little stage at one side. The library worker sits down on the floor, and instructs us to sit in a semi-circle facing her. Annalise is excited to explore, so I let her check out the exposed electrical outlets the unattended diaper bags the room. As all the other kids are sitting nicely on their mom’s laps, I find my seat, while my daughter wanders around the room. “This should be good,” I think, “Other kids her age…she’ll love to join in!”

We sing songs; we sing nursery rhymes we’ve all forgotten. “We”…meaning everyone but Annalise. Every other kid is sitting calmly, somewhat dazed, in their mom’s lap. My child is running around the room, yelling as she explores and finds familiar things – steps, bags, boxes! As I sing the words to “If You’re Happy and You Know it,” Annalise tears by and I attempt to pull her in – only causing a wriggling and whining tantrum. I release her, reminding myself that this time is for her. She immediately runs to the middle of the circle during the song, surveys the crowd, and zeros in on a particular child. Annalise then runs at him, full-speed, yelling “HI! HI! HI!” The mom smiles, but I am poised, ready to intervene in a split second. Thankfully, she runs right past them and onto the next adventure.

[Later addition:] I just remembered another hilarious (for me) moment. Another fly-by Annalise moment during the songs, she walks over from doing who knows what and backs into another mom’s lap. And yes, her child was already sitting there. I don’t think the little girl knew what to make of it. But no worries – 10 seconds later, Annalise was up and running again. 

Then story time. I was sure Annalise would want to hear the story. But, again, she refuses to sit in my lap, even after I lure her by saying, “Annalise…book!” Instead, she turns toward the library worker. She waltzes in the middle of the circle, right up to the book. Again – all the other children are sitting contentedly in their mom’s laps. My child? She considers this her own personal reading, and even points to the pages. Thankfully, Annalise doesn’t hang around, and quickly moves on to something else. The other parents sign in relief – now their child has an unobscured view of the story! Phew!

After a few more books (not that Annalise would know), the library worker busted out a few boxes of toys. I didn’t want to think about all the germ-infested fingers that had touched them before…so I didn’t. In reality, the toys were right on time: Annalise was getting bored with everyone else ignoring her sitting down while she ran free in the room. She dug right into the toys, dumping an entire box on the floor. We stuck around to the end – and she had a blast. Not that I was ever involved in her play time – she had a room full of other “friends” to play with her.

Will we go back? Of course! But I don’t have any expectations of her sitting and enjoying any of the songs or books. I just hope that the other moms are as forgiving if Annalise kisses, mauls, or runs at their child. She is quite…spirited.

So how would you react if your toddler ran amuck and refused to sit in story time? At what age should a child be instructed in appropriate behavior?

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4 Responses to “Annalise, Center Stage at the Library”

  1. Tara Says:

    At our library, the first storytime group is Mother Goose time. It’s okay if they can’t sit still and listen in that one– free to roam around and explore. But when they move up to toddler time, then they expect them to be able to sit and listen. I think that starts at age 2.

  2. Carrie Says:

    Kelly – I had to laugh out loud when I read this. Your story could have just as easily been a word-for-word synopsis of our time with Nolan in “family music class” when he was around 13-14 months old. I was the mom sitting in the circle singing all of the songs and doing all of the silly movements sans an actual child, while Nolan busied himself with everything else around the room. Meanwhile, all of the other moms had children that calmly sat in their laps and happily participated in each activity. This too shall pass….. 🙂

    • bakedwithyeast Says:

      Okay thanks for letting me know that I’m not the ONLY person with a crazy toddler. I was literally amazed that these 1-2 year olds would just sit compliantly…maybe that’s what my second child will be like? 😉

  3. Reason #234 Why Annalise is Gifted « Baked With Yeast Says:

    […] to get a smile or a laugh (or a slap on the hand), she’ll do it. Remember the post about story time at the library? Annalise isn’t just wanting center stage out in public…it’s an all-consuming […]

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