Wednesday, April 4, 2012

We Are Not Amused

That is a picture of Owen at his first library preschool story-hour.
It did not go well.
As you can see, he is lying under his chair on my sweater but let me add that he is facing away from the story-teller lady. I don't think he was expecting the sort of foolishness he encountered in that room today. I am not sure what he expected, but it was not the horror of what he found there.

First off, there were other children there. Polite children who sat on their chairs and paid attention. Mostly. They trained their eyes on the story-teller lady as she led everyone in songs with attendant hand-motions and so forth. This, to Owen, was the horror of which I spoke. The songs. The singing. The flying of the hands through the air to accompany the songs like birds, like bunnies, like the wheels on the bus, oh my god, the sheer horror and mortification!

When we sing, Owen does not like it. If we try to dance in his presence, he will die. "Stop! Stop!" he will beg us. And we will laugh because it's so funny but I guess it's not funny to Owen.
At the library, he took one of his mother's hands and one of mine in his own hands to prevent us from making the hand movements. Literally. There was nothing he could do about the rest of the people- the polite little girls, the goody-two-shoes little boys, the chortling babies who bounced up and down on their grandmother's laps, the other mothers all sitting in a semi-circle and being serious about the singing, the bunnies, the birds. But he could prevent his mother and me from wiggling our fingers. Oh yes. He could. And he did.

One song ended with the question, "Can you sit very still with your hands folded in your lap?" or something like that.
Under her breath, Lily said, "Probably not," and Owen repeated her loudly. PROBABLY NOT! he said and I think that is when he crawled under the chair.

The book-readings were not quite as agonizing as the songs but frankly, he didn't care much for those either. "Look- a dog!" Lily and I would say and Owen would glance up at the page being pointed to and look away as if to say, "Oh please. You call THAT a dog?" No, he didn't care about the dog or the sunflower or the sheep or whatever the hell the other book was about. Not. One. Bit.

He may have been rolling his eyes.

And then, as if to say enough is enough, he got up and went to the door and opened it.
Lily and I gathered our things (Gibson slept through it all in the little pack thingee on his mama's bosom) and followed him out while all the other children were still paying attention, still being good little boys and girls.

I tried to interest him in the library in a book about a chicken but again, he had no interest whatsoever. I was telling Hank about this and he said, "Why would he need to read a book about chickens? He HAS chickens."

Quite frankly, I was completely amused by the whole experience. I thought it was great. When Lily was Owen's age, she would have acted the same way, except that instead of quietly going to the door and opening it, she would have thrown a leg-kicking tantrum in the middle of everything and I would have had to lift her bodily and haul her from the room myself, feeling judged unfit as a mother by all of the other mothers and the story-teller lady AND the other children.

So I just thought it was funny and an indication that my grandson is not like all the other children, which I already knew, and Lily wasn't upset either. It was, after all, his first experience in a room full of other kids and throw in the mortification of GROWNUPS SINGING IN HIS PRESENCE and well, it just wasn't his cup of tea.

Later on though, we asked him if he'd like to go back next week.

"Oh sure, sure," he said.

I can't wait. I wouldn't miss that for the world.


  1. I'm dying here. What a firecracker!

  2. This reminds me of the first dozen or so story hours I took my kids to. We'd do the Barnes and Noble story hour and the library story hour. (The Barnes and Noble always served treats from their cafe so we always stayed till the end on that one).

    But yeah, we had too just keep going week after week and they eventually started sitting and participating. I think being so persistent about it helped my kids adjust well to school routines.

  3. i laughed and laughed. that owen. that lily. that hank.

    you made them all, mama moon.

  4. Aww, bless his wee heart. I used to be a preschool teacher and I have a soft spot for small children. It is hard being little! He really is just a baby still. It is not fun to be 2.5 and sitting in a room full of books when you could be outside running around naked chasing chickens.

  5. That sounds just like waylon, although his exit might have been more like your description of baby lily's. Tumbling once a week and it's the same scenario. All the other children, so well behaved and sitting on their mats. Following instructions and doing each little station. Meanwhile, Waylon's twisting and turning to get away from our grasp and yelling, "I WANT TO RUN! I CAN'T LIKE SITTING! I CAN'T!"

  6. THAT is hilarious! "Probably NOT!" A little rebel!

    You know, if memory serves the main library has Mr. Gary at 10am on Weds mornings (I'd check that on their website though) And I'll bet he'd like that much better. Gman could never stand the story lady either. Bored him to tears... but... Mr GARY, now that was something else altogether. He has a guitar and puppets. May be worth the trip. (Honestly, the story ladies bore me too... they are generally fake and exasperated and nervous) Gary loves what he does.

    In any case it was a fun story! We had a helovaday here. I can't even go into it, it's just too much.
    Thanks for the laugh.

  7. My Sam was just like this. Owen is just too smart for these library hijinks!

  8. Jeannie- He is who he is. No doubt about that.

    Rebecca- We'll try it again. I am sure. If he wants.

    Angella- I did notice that I was the only grandmother who did not have the short, white grandmother hair. I guess it runs in the family- being not quite the same.

    A- I have missed you, darling! How ARE you?

    Birdie- He thought he was going to like it. He really did. But then...the singing began. He's such a love, that boy. He just is his own self.

    Daddy B- That boy needs to start running track NOW! Get out and run with that child. Take him to the FSU track. Or something. Bless his heart. I love that runnin' boy.

    Ms. Fleur- We'll check it out. It's just that this new library is so convenient to both of us.

    Ms. Trouble- Well, I don't know about too smart but too horrified for sure.

  9. I love him!!!! He is SO much like my son. Xander has this dry sense of humor that has always just slayed us.

    When I was a storytime lady at the library and at a little children's bookstore I used to love the little kids who were just not havin' it. It cracked me up. There are some library ladies (and men) who can be so nasty about it. One fella I know used to shout at the children, "THIS IS A LIBRARY!", and another lady used to be very fussy about where the kids sat on the rug.

  10. Laughing! That is awesome. Owen has his own mind and feels free to express it.

  11. Bless Owen for marching to his own drummer and not going along with the singing stuff. Something about it turned him off. Maybe he will explain what it was. Maybe it was just a feeling that it was weird. I like those who do their own thing. I was one--an outlier on the normal curve.

  12. Baa haa haa! He is his mother's son!

  13. I sort of miss those days. When I had Oliver (my third and last child), I noticed that he had a great sense of rhythm, even as a baby, so I signed us up for a mommy and me music class. He proceeded to run around the room pulling all the cords out of the wall sockets and sticking his fingers in his ears and yelling.

    WV: idioti

  14. Hank has a point.

    C pitched a fit at her 1st Birthday when we sang to her. One in a long line of fits. A few years later a music teacher told us she had perfect pitch. Maybe Owen has very high standards. Just sayin'.

  15. Of course many of them can't sit still. They are children, supposed to be running outdoors with the chickens like Owen does.

    Great story.

  16. Chrissy- This woman was very kind and didn't seem to be worried about the children's behavior. She just did her job which I appreciated a lot.

    Lora- You know all about little boys who have a different agenda.

    Syd- His mama never liked to hear us sing or see us dance either. She had a firm mindset on what was cool and what wasn't. I think Owen is much the same. And I think you're exactly right- it made him feel WEIRD.

    Omgrrrl- And you know it.

    Elizabeth- Haha! That's great!

    Denise- Wow! That's another perspective!

    messymimi- That's why they kept doing the songs in between the stories so the kids could jump and wiggle and stuff. In theory.

  17. how strange that singing and dancing upsets him.

  18. PROBABLY NOT made me belly laugh. Twice. I love that little boy! I was going to say you should probably just keep bringing him back and he'll get something out of it even if it is just exposure to the weirdness of the world. So I was glad to read at the end of the post that you're planning to go back. He's 2 1/2 so good grief he can behave however he wants and I know he has adults around him that get that. Love these peeks into your days.

  19. Ellen- I think he was born a teenager. Parents are mortifying to teenagers by simply being there.

    Jill- We'll try it again. If he likes it, we'll go back. Otherwise- not much point. Unless Lily enjoys it!

  20. I was a kindergarden drop out because of the stupid songs. My mother was so worried. But I turned around and made it through law school. I hear Mr. Gary at the main library is fab!


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