One of my favorite "surprise rides" to take Madison on is a trip to the library. It is nearby, we get to spend some quiet time together and it is free (provided I actually return my books on time). Lately however I feel like our library trips are becoming more and more of a hastle. There are tons of books and the library has a wonderful summer program designed for children of all ages but..... since when do libraries need to be filled with toys??? To me the library is a place you take a child for some quiet time and to help develop not only their reading skills but hopefully also a love for books. Over the past year and a half it seems like every time we go there are more and more toys to distract little ones from actually looking at a single book. It seems like the library is also becoming the new hangout for stay at home moms who would rather sip on coffee and gossip rather than read to their child(ren). Honestly while I'm on the topic of what should and shouldn't be in a library does it really need a Dunkin' Donuts inside of it?
I know that I am ranting and probably making no sense at all. It's just that every time we go to the library lately I end up getting completely flustered and find myself starting to go less and less. Our typical trip to the library starts with me loading Madison into the car and occasionally letting her in on where we are going. She is so excited and tells me she can't wait to pick out some books and how she'll be a good listener. We arrive and I slyly distract Madison so she doesn't see the huge Dunkin' Donuts right at the entrance. We then pick out a book or two for me first (so far so good) and then head to the children's section. No matter what time of day we attempt this there are always 3-4 moms sipping on some sort of coffee concoction chatting about one thing or another while their kids run around screaming and playing with a huge amount of toys that would put Toys 'R Us to shame. No books to be seen in any little hands. This is not to say that there are no other moms trying to use a library for what is meant to be used for but we are generally out numbreed. I try to get Madison interested in different books but there is no book in the world that is more interesting to a 3 year old than a bunch of kids and new toys. Within minutes she is off and playing completely ignoring me and my desire to read to her. I quickly select a few books that I know she'll enjoy at home and then try to round her up. By now she has spotted at least one donut or juice and has informed me how hungry/thirsty she is (to the point of seeming to be starved). It takes another 20 minutes or so to actually get her out of the library and back to the car many times resulting in her/I or both of us having a temper tantrum. Either way it is not a pretty sight. Once we finally get loaded into the car I'm usually completely drained and left wondering why I insist on doing this to myself. I guess my question to anyone who cares to respond is am I in the right for wanting the library to be what it once was or should I just get over it and join in with the other mommies leaving story time for home? What are your thoughts. Can;t wait to hear your comments.