Statistically speaking, parenting is 97% missed opportunities, lost tempers and general astonishment that someone you love so deeply could annoy you so greatly.* But, three percent of the time, something will go right and you, as a parent, will feel very accomplished, indeed.
I have been taking Sonja to several activities at the YMCA this summer to keep her entertained, but gymnastics, ballet and Tae Kwon Do add up to less than two hours a week. When she started to complain that she’d read her extensive collection of children’s literature too many times, I decided to institute regular trips to the library. Then I came up with a name for the trips – Library Friday.
I chose Fridays because I don’t work and there is a corresponding story time for preschoolers. Then, I came up with the name, because naming an idea automatically lends it credence and legitimacy. Giving it a schedule lends anticipation. Library Friday immediately became Sonja’s favorite day of the week. She gets to sing, listen to stories, and do a craft project at the story time. Afterwards, she picks several books to take home, and the next week, she returns a few of them in order to get more. We’ve found some really entertaining stories this way (as well as some not-so-entertaining ones.) One of her favorites is A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell. In this story, the main character gets upset because whoever is reading the book keeps getting it dirty. Sonja got mad at me because I picked it for her and checked it out without her permission, but now she won’t let me take it back. And she insists on reading all of the new books as soon as we get home, so we get more reading time than we would otherwise.
We also signed up for the summer reading program, and last week when she took in the ticket to claim her first prize, the excitement was palpable. Things petered out when the prize was a small, orange carabiner, but she is still psyched to get the next prize.
While we clocked a decent amount of reading time previously, and while Sonja has always loved books, I feel that Library Fridays have simultaneously increased her understanding of how the library works (it’s not quite as painful now to take back books that she really likes) and its vast offerings, and more importantly, solidified the library as a great resource and wondrous place to go.Very accomplished, indeed.
*Not actual statistics.