October 06, 2017

The parade of shame.

On Tuesday morning I packed the kids up and took them to the library down the street for Toddler Time. I'd never been before, but have several friends that go on Fridays so knew it was a popular destination. Because I'm a terrible mother, I'm not particularly fond of cheesy mom and tot programs. I find the singing awkward and all the feigned enthusiasm makes me wonder if switching away from decaf and adding a healthy swig of Baileys might make me fit in more. Surely there must be a reason all those stay at home parents are so painfully chipper and involved after spending every single day with their toddlers.

We showed up five minutes late despite my best efforts to the contrary. We were in the parking lot three minutes before it was set to start, but I have a sneaking suspicion that most parents are actually early for these sorts of organized things, even though that flies in the face of all parenting logic I've ever experienced. It certainly doesn't happen with any of the play dates I've been to.

Getting out of the car involved nothing short of bribery on my part and a near tantrum on Parker's. I'm pretty good at not giving into his terrorist demands, but we were short for time and he wanted to bring his snack cup in. I was not about to waste all the effort I'd gone through of putting makeup on for a Shreddies fuelled throw down in a rainy parking lot.

Because Toddler Time was in a room in the basement and Molly is still in her bucket seat, it took us a full five minutes to manoeuvre ourselves into the building and into the elevator. It's not that I'm necessarily afraid to lug an 85 lb bucket seat down a flight of stairs while holding my toddler's hand, it's just that we were already late and I didn't want to add a trip to the ER to our list of things to do that morning. I threw my hip in August after getting stung by a wasp on my baby toe (makes sense, right?) so I was already a little off balance to begin with.

Getting into the elevator itself was an adventure as, apparently, I don't take Parker out of the house enough to know what the outside world looks like. He was enamoured with the buttons that opened all the doors, and that was just to the building. Once I wrangled him into the elevator, after missing the doors to it twice, it was all I could do to block him from pushing the emergency and alarm buttons all at once. I wish elevator designers had seriously reconsidered putting those buttons at toddler eye level.

When we finally made it to the room, a mere five minutes past 10, Toddler Time was in full swing. The room was full of singing children and parents, all wiggling merrily as they sat on the carpet. All of them, naturally, turning and looking at us upon our tardy entry.

Parker, like me, doesn't do incredibly well in new situations. I'm finding that, as the supposedly mature adult in our relationship, I have to resort to faking it more often than I'd like. While a large part of me wanted to back out of the room mumbling about that not being the bathroom, I'd been spotted so we sat down and acted like we belonged.

Parker flat out refused to surrender his snack cup or take his boots off in order to sit on the carpet, so we hung out on the floor, as close to the door as we could and faked it like our lives depended on it. I sang the songs, did the actions, and pretended to care about the story that I could barely see from across the room. Parker eventually got tired of my enthusiasm and shushed me every time I participated. I couldn't really blame him. All the other kids bounced around enthusiastically and Molly just sat in her bucket seat, still in her pyjamas, ready to make a getaway at a moment's notice.

At the end of the half hour session, the kids all got to take a "musical instrument" and march around the room singing. This is clearly a highlight of the entire morning and eagerly anticipated by parents and children alike. It's true, nothing sounds like more fun to me than watching a bunch of toddlers stomp around in a circle making as much noise as possible. Okay, I'm a little envious. Someone give me a maraca.

I got Parker some bells to shake and encouraged him to, at the very least, stand up and let loose. Instead, we stayed seated at the edge of the carpet circle shaking our bells while the other stylishly dressed children and parents paraded around us. The parents, bless them, seemed to get it and tried not to look directly at me. The kids, however, were looking at Parker and I like we were some sort of interesting stain.

"Why isn't that little boy participating, Mommy?"
"Well, Timmy, some people just don't understand fun."*
Not an actual conversation I overheard.

After Toddler Time there's some free play time. In our case, it was back-out-of-the room-as-quickly-as-possible-and-pray-to-God-that-Parker-doesn't-press-any-alarm-buttons-in-the-elevator-time.

I think we'll just stay home next Tuesday.


  1. It's seriously hard getting these little people to cooperate in situations like this! E normally just want to walk the other way from other kids playing haha.

  2. I knew if anyone shared my hatred of story time, it would be you. I HATE it. We’ve tried twice and never again.

  3. Toting that baby seat around should be an Olympic event. Getting through my kitchen, down the stairs, and out the door is a challenge every single morning. Elevators all the way!

  4. Schlepping car seats around is the WORST. I finally bought a lightweight stroller that our car seat just snaps into for situations just like that. Our jogging stroller doesn't fit indoors ANYwhere.

    I have yet to determine if we will ever attend a story time at the library. One one hand, it sounds fun if your kid has the personality for it. On the other hand, I already know I *don't* have the personality for it. Time will tell what Imogen likes, I guess.

  5. Ha! I have four little kids, and the only times we've done story time at the library is when we were stopping there to actually pick up a book and got sucked into the toddler time vortex that just happened to be going on when we got there. I tried to go with the flow, but sheesh, it's hard to keep four kids orderly for that long! We snuck out at the first opportunity!

  6. Ugh, sitting in a circle with a bunch of kids that are totally silent and a bunch of grown-ups half-heartedly singing an off-key version of "Wheels on the Bus" is the worst! I know because I do it every Thursday. I only go because afterward I talk with my friends while the kids play.


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