Wednesday, February 6, 2013

THE WORST STORY TIME EVER!!! <- in all caps, because it was that bad.

For the first time since I took all 3 of my Lovely Little Children of the Corn to story time, tried to check out books with both Alex and Goofy in tow, and ran into the Chameleon, I left the library something other than relaxed and recharged, ready to do a giddy dive into the stacks of books we brought home with us. I am actually pretty angry. and irritated. and I'm not alone in my irritation, the jurors were polled and the verdict is in... a unanimous vote of major suckage with a loud cry of THAT WAS THE WORST STORY TIME EVER!!!!

It started out great...

We got rid of the all of the kids until it was just the tree of us. and we headed out on a grand adventure.
We had a good time picking out books. loudly. with even louder shushing. and settled on 3 each.
We walked on over to wait for story time to begin...
and shared our cars nicely with a girl who asked.

We went in and settled on in for loads of fun stories and jiggly movement and happy songs...

which never happened.

Sure, the age says 3-6 and not all of these kids are 3-6 because these things aren't always a singular occurrence. Sometimes they come in 2s and 3s or even 4s and mores. and they don't always pop out at the same time which makes them different ages. those are called "siblings". and siblings don't magically disappear at story time just because they aren't the same age. Look at the staggered legion of evil I lug around with me. You think that's entirely by choice? well, partially by choice, but still. you can't always get a babysitter for the ones who don't belong (and don't get me started on that). but that doesn't even matter because the age is 3-6. most 3-6 year olds have a bit of a hard time listening to stories that have 5-10 sentences per page, dull illustrations, and more than 15 pages per book. Heck, I'm *cough* old enough and I missed an entire story because my attention wandered! Now, take that book that they will have a hard time sitting still for and put it back to back with 4 more and you are going to get antsy pantsy kids who are not listening to you. *shrugs*, that's just the way it works. Movement breaks between stories keep the kids from being too wiggly. at the end, it's a wasted effort that just takes up more time. and speaking of time, 20 minutes! Story time is 20 minutes! never a second shorter and never, never 10 minutes longer!!! Attention span. google it.

Dear Story Tellers, Watch your kids! If they are counting their fingers, tracing their shoes, wiggling around, laying in the floor, looking at others and not hardly glancing up at the story, it may be too advanced for them. or even if you do not watch the kids, look at their parents. If the parents are fidgeting, looking confused, looking at each other, staring at you in shock or glaring at you like you're a dumbass... you may want to reconsider the book.

That isn't what pissed me off though (because yes, it's the only one that fits). What had me furious was when a little girl walked up to the Story Teller and the Story Teller raised her eyes up, touched the girl on her back, nudged her in the direction of the audience and said, "You need to go get your mother." Are you freaking kidding me!? OUR Story Teller would have made eye contact, smiled to acknowledge the girl, and directed her to a seated position and encouraged her to listen to an at least almost age-appropriate book with a gentle authority that is never disobeyed but the child is still left feeling welcome and the parent doesn't feel the need to pick their child up and walk out on story time!

Thank God OUR Story Teller is only on vacation and will be back soon. I think I'll call ahead next time to make sure she's there before I take any of these kids. Or I could trust that the fill-in chose to take the advice I left her with and try it again... but the girl going next week is a 3 year old with a developmental delay... I don't want to turn her off books or story time... maybe I ought to just call ahead.


  1. Boy did I hate Story time at the Library with James!! Now he could sit though a book, now he can read a book, but then... books were the enemy!! I took him though much to the dismay of the story teller. Not because I wanted to torture anyone but it was something that was important to me. I love libraries and books. And doggone my kid was going to love libraries and books also!!

  2. Can't stand people who don't love children in positions where they have to interact with children.