It’s raining and Super Toddler has watched all of his videos. Having exhausted her supply of games and funny voices, Awkward Mom decides that drastic measures are necessary. Therefore, our intrepid trio is heading to that haven for harried moms everywhere. That hot bed of imaginary intrigue, that lair for the lonely and the lost. That anchorage for those who love outrageously obvious alliteration. They are going to the library. Let’s watch….
Here is my to-do-list for the parking lot of the library:
1. Ignore the howling banshee children in the backseat.
2. Race into a spot, without killing and/or maiming the reckless pedestrians roaming about.
3. Pop the trunk and dash out to grab to the stroller.
4. Immediately get drenched.
5. Say some bad words about Awkward Dad, who moved the double stroller into his car this weekend and failed to put it back.
7. Race to back seat and search desperately for an umbrella.
8. Do not find umbrella.
9. Almost say more bad words about Awkward Dad, but remember that the two irritating imps in the backseat are actually impressionable children whom you love dearly.
10. Say the bad words in head while running awkwardly toward the library door, trying not to drop any of the following: 13 videos, sopping wet and screaming child 1, 7 books, dignity, diaper bag, sopping wet and screaming child 2, keys.
So, we enter (aka fall into) the library; a little wet, a little loud, and a little late for toddler story time. I do not want to brave the ire of the mothers who do not like latecomers and Super Toddler does not seem interested in joining the hordes of children clustered around the librarian, singing The Wheels on the Bus. Instead, we head to the bathroom, seeking towels.
We emerge slightly drier but no calmer. We head into the children’s area, where Super Toddler busies himself with some puzzles and I plop on a couch to feed Super Baby. All is right with the world for about 4 minutes. Super Toddler appears to have a rival for the puzzles. A bigger kid comes over and snatches a puzzle piece away from him. Super Toddler, no slouch in the grabbing department, snatches it back. The big kid knocks the puzzle on the floor. Super Toddler knocks the rest of the puzzles on the floor. They both start laughing and pelting each other with puzzle pieces. I get to the battle site a little ahead of the librarian; Puzzle Rival appears to be sans parent. We all endure the librarian’s lecture on how throwing is bad and that we should respect each other, as well as watch our children better. I try to explain that only one of them is mine, but she is not interested and storms back to her desk. I turn to the boys to repeat the lecture, minus the part aimed at me, but they are gone.
I spy them, halfway across the children’s section, watching the rain run down the window. OK, well, that seems harmless enough, and it is, until they start making faces and blowing raspberries on the glass. They also find it hilarious to lift up their shirts and show their bellies to the empty parking lot. Again, this seems rather innocuous, if a little bizarre, and at least Super Toddler has found a friend. I am inclined to let it go. Plus, the librarian isn't looking right now. I am pondering how to wipe those smudges off the window before anyone sees them, when they turn their attention to the teenagers studying in the glassed-in carrel next door. Puzzle Rival moons them, causing noisy hilarity. That gets the librarian’s attention rather quickly, so I race over there and haul Super Toddler back to the children’s section. Puzzle Rival disappears, with the librarian hot on his trail.
I resume feeding Super Baby and Super Toddler resumes playing with puzzles. For about 30 seconds. Then he turns his attention to the giant box of legos. He is contently building an enormous structure when Story Time lets out. Swarms of children, trailed by tired looking moms, enter the room. Most head to the computers, but a few surround the toy table and Super Toddler’s growing building. Apparently, lego rivals are much more polite and a cooperative city starts to emerge. I breathe a sigh of relief and commence being ignored by other moms.
Super Baby falls asleep on my shoulder, so I get up and peruse videos to take home. How many Bob the Builder DVDs are there anyway? What on earth are Weebles? Is it weird that Bambi still makes me cry after 86 times? Is it weird that I am getting a little teary just holding the box? How bad a lie is it if I tell Super Toddler they were out of Barney? Armed with a plethora of new videos and confident that I will never understand the finer points of children’s entertainment or the origin of Weebles, I head to the book shelves.
As I have mentioned before, Super Toddler’s tastes run toward the regal and the Jurassic. Luckily, the library has a large selection of both; seems they (and numerous authors) understand the toddler brain quite well. However, I am once again thwarted in my efforts to find a book about Royal Dinosaurs; might have to write that sucker myself. My arms are starting to fall asleep, laden as they are with books, videos, and baby, so I head back to the couch and resume being ignored by my follow moms. Super Toddler’s structure has turned out to be a castle (big surprise), and he and his fellow lego fans have populated it with 2 giraffes, a turtle, 14 puzzles pieces, 3 bears, a horse with a pig on its back, and some garbage they picked off the floor.
I happen to glance toward the clock and am alarmed to find out what time it is. You see, I am watchless since Super Toddler somehow lodged mine between the wall and the TV stand. I suppose my laziness outweighs my need for a watch, as it has been there about 3 weeks. I realize that I have 30 minutes before Awkward Dad will be home. I also realize that he said something about bring some coworker home for dinner. 30 minutes to get us home, make dinner, and locate the source of that weird smell. 30 minutes and I am not quite sure I thawed the chicken.30 minutes and I know I didn’t clean up the toys. 30 minutes, well, 29 now. Across the internet divide, I can hear you all laughing.
Undeterred, I launch into hyper-speed. I swoop down on Super Toddler, and wrestle him away from his lego castle. This is not wise. I get him halfway to the front desk and he breaks the sound barrier. It is a code red, level 9, notch 11 on the amp kind of sound, and we are in a library. The baby starts slipping, so I have to put down the toddler to adjust. Super Toddler flings himself on the floor like he is dead. All be it a very loud dead. He is right in front of the checkout, near the most traffic. The timid stand to the side and stare at him, horrified. The cruel point and laugh. Most shoot me dirty looks, and the moms coolly ignore the whole situation and walk right over him. I throw my items on the self check-out and frantically search for my library card. I find it at the bottom of my diaper bag, clinging to some graham cracker remains and a coupon for diaper cream. I procede to check out at lightening speed. I somehow manage to fit 9 books and 6 videos in the diaper bag, breaking the zipper in the process. I pick up a wailing and flailing Super Toddler and lumber out to the parking lot. This journey is not remotely pleasant and seems to take a year, why did I park all the way in the back anyway? My personal Oregon Trail finally ends and I settle my children into their car seats. Feels like they have been yelling since we got here, oh that is right, they have. I throw the broken diaper bag onto the front seat and climb into the driver’s seat. Turning on the car, I stare at the clock and realize I have now 16 minutes to get home, clean my house, make dinner with frozen chicken, and not scare away my husband’s coworker. I glance up at the library and see Puzzle Rival's full moon shining on me through the rain soaked windshield. Guess that's what he thinks my chances are.
Puzzle Rival was right; the Awkward Family took the coworker out for dinner. Join us next week for another peek into the overwhelmingly ordinary drama and awful alliteration of The Adventures of Awkward Mom!