It’s been a while since I’ve told you a tale of a motherbitch run-in. But, it’s time again!
Since the bigs were at VBS in the mornings last week, I was able to take Cub to Storytime for Twos at the library one day. And, to clarify, while it is called “storytime,” only one story is read. The kids dance and sing, the librarian blows bubbles for the kids to chase, and there are toys laid out in the center of the circle. It’s really more of playgroup.
About THIRTY two year-olds in one room for storytime.
I was chatting with the mom beside me. You know, at least trying to be sociable.
Her daughter was about to graduate onto the preschoolers storytime- only having another two weeks as a two year-old. Cub is still a new-two, having turned two a month ago.
The other mom did a stage-whisper that she obviously wanted the room at large to hear and said, “It’s so nice that you make your son sit in your lap and pay attention. I can’t believe how some of these moms let their kids run around.”
Because, seriously…..they are two.
Some of them just having turned two.
They are in a room with a bunch of other little ones and they are playing with each other. For an hour. That’s a long time for a two year-old to sit still.
Doing research back when I was teaching and in culture shock going from teaching 8th graders to teaching 3rd graders, I learned that the average 8 year-old has an attention span of 15-20 minutes. And so, I took a different approach to my teaching.
And yet, someone is going to complain that 2 year-olds can’t pay attention for an hour?
Shortly after that, Cub climbed out of my lap and joined in a game of catch with another little boy. And then decided he would go dance with a little girl and give her a kiss. Heaven help me with this girl-crazy child.
The mom sitting beside me stopping talking to me after that. I guess because my child was no longer being “good.”
And then she said to the mom on the other side of her, “It’s always the boys who can’t listen, isn’t it?”
I really wished that I could kick her, in defense of my fellow moms-of-boys. Besides, there were girls up out of their seats, too- like the girl that was dancing with Cub.
Kids grow and change and can handle things better as they get older. There is a reason that they do not lump all age groups together in the same storytime, besides just the content.
My older boys sit nicely at their preschool storytime. Even without me there to force them to do so. Yes, I totally peek in the window to make sure and know the librarian who would tell me if there had been a problem.
When they were two year-olds, though, yes, they were more interested in playing than in sitting quietly. But, I don’t think it’s a big deal.
The same way that I don’t think that it’s bad when they are LOUD and boisterous when we are at a playground or pool or amusement park or in our backyard.
As long as they are not hurting anyone, understand that this is what little kids do. They play. They enjoy themselves. They don’t always understand sitting still or being quiet. Look at where you are and ask if it’s a place for quiet or for fun.
Even thinking about older kids: my eighth graders used to give me a headache at their breaktime. They would yell and squeal out in the courtyard, throwing footballs around, teasing each other, showing off. Obnoxious as only young teenagers can be. But, it was their breaktime. We were outside. How bizarre would it be to expect them to just sit and talk quietly. Once we were back in the classroom, they behaved like good students should
because they were scared of their mean teacher.
Now, some might argue that the library is a place for quiet and that these little ones at storytime should be taught better- but my boys, even Cub, know to be quiet in the main part of the library. Cub holds a finger to his lips and will “shush” as I quickly pick out my books.
But, if you honestly expect 30 2 year-olds to sit quietly for a full hour….well, I’m not even sure what to say to that.