At the time of writing, the big one is sick, and has been feeling sorry for herself quietly on the sofa for two days now. Two loooooong days*.
I've just realised that this change to our routine has meant that the library books are overdue, and I can't find our online pin number. I've just checked and the library isn't open for another three days - I thank the Tories for that. I wonder what the going rate for an overdue library book is nowadays? It used to be a few pence a day, but I bet it's gone up in the last 25 years. I am now wondering whether I have to remortgage my house again to pay the fine.**
As a kid, I loved going to the library.
I still love books; the way they look, feel, smell... The whole Kindle-thing just doesn't work for me I'm afraid. You can't dry a Kindle out on the radiator after you drop it in the bath. Before kids, I was an avid reader. Although I rarely have time to read these days, I always envisaged the library to be a place I'd take my kids.
I imagined myself reading stories to my baby, who would be sat in wonder digesting every word. Turns out babies just want to eat books just the same as everything else, and once they're out of that stage, reading out loud - particularly the same kids' book you've read every night for the past seven weeks, even if you absolutely loved it to start with (I'm looking at you A Squash and a Squeeze), gets pretty boring.
|It's upside down darling|
A few years down the line, and I thought maybe we should start going; I'd kind of like them to still exist when I actually have the time to read, so we joined the small local library which is a ten minute walk away.
|Six months ago on one of our first library trips. Tasty books.|
Anyone who has ever been anywhere with a toddler knows that 'a ten minute walk away' can mean anything from ten minutes to several hours. Here are some pictures I took of my smaller child during a walk to the park; it should be five minutes.
|I am toddler; I will touch ALL THE THINGS|
Upon entering the library, I return the books which are hopefully intact and not too badly chewed. I can see the Librarian's face fall, knowing the horror about to befall him; two small book crazed fiends, shattering his peace and threatening to eat into his lunch break.
Meanwhile, I find a seat and sit down.
I might take a nice photo of them... and then spend the next fifteen minutes checking Instagram whilst they amuse themselves. They're surprisingly good at it; if as noisy and messy as you would expect. I 'shhhh' them for effect (they take no notice) and it is of course imperative that all the books come out of the box and are placed upon the floor to be 'read', one by one.
|Possibly the best book ever. Possibly (Yes, we have Oi Dog)|
Then we (I) tidy up, check out our books, and books in hand, we set off on the adventure home.
A few minutes in, the big one inevitably announces she's tired, at which point she stops walking, usually along the main road. The small one meanwhile is squawking 'Walk, walk!' from his buggy.
A round trip to the library can take well in excess of two hours.
But on the bright side, a trip to the library can take up two whole hours.
*This morphed into about four days of house-wide sickness. Fabulous.
**It's actually free on an under 5s card. Thank heavens for small mercies.
(Oh! Look what I just found hidden in a box of toys. Great. Better pull my socks up before they put out a book warrant and I end up on some kind of list.)