Me: The Library Card Stage Mother

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Registered: 07-17-2004
Me: The Library Card Stage Mother
8
Tue, 05-19-2009 - 4:02pm

Molly has been attending story time at the library since she was 9 months old. We visit at least once a week and go to many of the events because our library is so AWESOME.

When Molly was younger - maybe 2 but she could have been 3, she asked me when she could get her own library card and the librarian overheard her and said, "When you can write your own name."

She's been writing Molly for a long while, but just in the last few weeks she's started to also write our last name, which features one of her trickiest letters, that wily, elusive, "K." She's been practicing and practicing. But I wasn't in any rush or anything. I figured, when she can do it, we'll take her to get her card.

This morning she burst into the room holding a piece of paper with her full name written clearly and announced, "I'm getting my library card!!! Look! I wrote it!"

So, when we arrived for story time, I picked up an application, filled it out, and at the bottom, she wrote perfectly her full name. We took it to the circulation desk and they were so excited! After the librarian processed her application, he handed me her card and a sharpie and said, "Now she just has to write her name on her card." The librarian next to him said, "Maybe she should take it to a desk." and I said, "That sounds good." but he said, "She can use one of these books as a desk." And she had the sharpie and was all ready so I said, "Okay," and lowered down to hold the book while she wrote her name.

Well...the library card was a little smaller than the paper she usually works on, and she ran out of space after the second letter of our last name. She started to WAIL immediately and say, "I'm out of space...AND I FORGET HOW TO WRITE A K!!!" I said, "Honey, calm down, you can write it above. You know how to write a "K"" Meanwhile, the librarians are looking at me skeptically. So she wrote the last three letters above, the whole time sobbing. Then she held the card and said, "It's HORRIBLE! It looks TERRIBLE! I can't write my name!!!"

The librarians are looking on helplessly and one of them is kind of giving me a look like, "You rushed her into this. You should be ashamed of yourself." LOL - as if I wasn't already feeling awful about the whole thing.

In the end, they had me initial by her name and we left, with her screaming and not even accepting the "I got my library card today" sticker. It was miserable. I feel like from now on she'll have a negative association with getting a library card. :(

She was so out of control with her meltdown that I said we couldn't go to the park or Target afterwards. We came home and a few minutes ago, I used nail polish remover to take off her old name and had her re-write it the way she wanted with a Sharpie. Now she is proud of the card and can't wait to take it to Share day at school on Friday - but I still feel like a jerk! Even though I didn't put the pressure on her about the card - she does know how much I love the library and I was excited about the prospect of her getting her own card. I even brought the camera to get a picture of her holding her card in victory afterwards (that photo op will have to wait...LMAO.)

It did teach me a lesson about maybe not rushing things. I should have had her practice on littler paper, as well.

Anyway, I think the librarians have rightfully dubbed me the "Library Card Stage Mother." There's probably a caricature of me in the back with a cattle prod in my hand saying "YOU WILL GET YOUR CARD!"

Ack. :(

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2003
Tue, 05-19-2009 - 4:33pm

"We visit at least once a week and go to many of the events because our library is so AWESOME."


OK, well just to make you feel good about yourself I'll tell you this quick story. Few days ago I told Lana that her best friend's mom is a librarian. She asked me "What's that?" and I said "That's the person that works in a library". I wasn't prepared for "What's a library?". I guess she doesn't remember when I rushed her to the library for story hour when she was 10-18-24 months old. It was stressful for me and not very fun for anyone else there so I stopped. And honestly you know my issue with germs and yucky germy books touched by other mortals. Especially gross kids books with yucky gross kid germs. Snotty kids chewing library books and spreading their drool all over. Nope, I couldn't handle that so we started buying our own books. So whatever this story is about it can't be worse then me - I'm a mother who doesn't take her daughter to the library!!!


"Well...the library card was a little smaller than the paper she usually works on, and she ran out of space after the second letter of our last name. She started to WAIL immediately and say, "I'm out of space...AND I FORGET HOW TO WRITE A K!!!"


In all honesty I thought you'll say that she wrote on the book used underneath the card, so this story is not as bad as it could have been :))). It trully is difficult to scale down your writting when you're that age. Lana painted bird houses and wanted to write her name on them when they dried. She FREAKED out four times in a row when she ran out of space (I'd repaint the house and she'll have to wait to write her name again). She just wanted it *perfect* but wasn't capable yet to write smaller letters and she stressed herself out. I guess Molly and Lana are pretty similar to that respect.


"Then she held the card and said, "It's HORRIBLE! It looks TERRIBLE! I can't write my name!!!"


Yep I have a child just like yours that is bothered by imprefection.


"The librarians are looking on helplessly and one of them is kind of giving me a look like, "You rushed her into this. You should be ashamed of yourself." LOL - as if I wasn't already feeling awful about the whole thing."


She should be ashamed of herself for judging you. It's not rushing your kid to write her name at 4, especially if she knows her alphabet and is excited about writing.


"We came home and a few minutes ago, I used nail polish remover to take off her old name and had her re-write it the way she wanted with a Sharpie."


Two comments about this. First off - WOW YOU FIGURED OUT THE WAY TO REMOVE SHARPIE!!! I'm impressed and feel like I learned something. Secondly see my story up top about having to repaint bird house so Lana would write her name perfectly (eye roll). I think you did well. More then well!


"It did teach me a lesson about maybe not rushing things. I should have had her practice on littler paper, as well."


I honestly don't think you were rushing it. I think the issue here is that she's so hard on herself and has such high expectations of herself. I totally understand her because I'm the same way myself and it's sometimes difficult being me :).


"Anyway, I think the librarians have rightfully dubbed me the "Library Card Stage Mother." There's probably a caricature of me in the back with a cattle prod in my hand saying "YOU WILL GET YOUR CARD!"


This is really funny. But I think they might have a caricature of me somewhere there when at the age of 7 Lana finally walks into the library and asks a librarian "How much is this book about rabbits, I don't see the price tag anywhere?"



steppingintospring.jpg picture by may_sunshine2004
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2004
Tue, 05-19-2009 - 5:04pm
Irena - thanks so much for your response! I feel a bit better. And trust me, if I had the space in my house for books, I'd be buying instead of borrowing. LOL. If the girls take a book off the shelf that looks like it's seen a sticky hand, I make them put it back and pick another one. Hee hee. Our library is relatively new, and absolutely immaculate which is why I feel so comfortable there.

Here's Annie heading to her Story time this past Fall:

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*sigh* I just wish she didn't feel this pressure to be absolutely perfect in every way. I want her to do well and want to do well, but I don't want her to not be able to handle it if things aren't perfect.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2004
Tue, 05-19-2009 - 6:35pm

Oh no! (= I know what a big deal this was to you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2004
Tue, 05-19-2009 - 9:17pm

You are so right Morgan! I was actually thinking today that perhaps I'm leading by example - maybe I get a little too worked up when I make mistakes (on the rare occasion that happens.)

LOL!

No, but I do tend to flip out if I've made a wrong turn or I get home and realize I've forgotten something at the store. Do I stomp my feet and scream? No...but I probably do the adult equivalent...LOL.

Anyway, I have a TALE OF REDEMPTION from later this afternoon. The girls and I walked to our polling place to vote and one of the librarians was there (she's the one that looks like the librarian from Ghostbusters - I swear, it's her in Ghostbusters. Whenever I'm there with friends, I say, "Check out Stack 2...It's the librarian from Ghostbusters!" and they're always amazed. But, the librarian was working the polls today. As soon as she saw us she said, "Oh, you guys are in the library all the time!" and I said, "Yes! We were just there today for story time - and, Molly got her library card today!" and she said, "That is wonderful! I'm there everyday (well, except today, of course) and it's delightful to see you" then (get this) she turned to the lady next to her and said, "Her children are very well behaved."

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

I'm glad Ghosbuster Librarian wasn't there today to see the meltdown - and clearly she wasn't there for the Fall Fun Fest when Snow White got dragged out wig and all.

In any case, after a rough day of wondering where I'm going wrong, it was a relief to run into someone with a sweet compliment. How nice that the day had it's Hollywood ending after all.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2006
Tue, 05-19-2009 - 9:54pm

Oh, how nice that it ended well! I hope that librarian's image of your children continues unblemished for a long time... lol

I disagree with all these feelings of yours that you're somehow "rushing" your kid into a library card, just because she can't write her name in tiny-enough letters. I can't imagine the library staff judging you for that.

They probably just think you beat her when she makes mistakes.

BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!

No really, they probably just felt bad because they want kids to enjoy the experience, and Molly wasn't going to let that happen.

I have a kid like that too, and we've been drawing fairies from the "how to draw fairies" book and if hers doesn't match the book (or my attempt) exactly, we have a total "I'm not good enough" meltdown that goes right to the core of her existence. Trying to explain that I've been writing stuff for 30 years and you get better handling a pencil as you go along, is like saying "yada yada yada blurg blurg blurg" to her ears.

Ashley, I think you're beating yourself up over this and it's not really even a mistake... hmm... maybe that's where Molly gets it? :)

(note to self: gee, I wonder where Annika gets it? um, yup I know that too?)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2006
Tue, 05-19-2009 - 9:56pm
I forgot to say that I'm totally jealous of your awesome library with the cool tree?
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-17-2005
Wed, 05-20-2009 - 1:07am
You are cracking me up! Lloyd has absolutely no trace of perfectionism so it's hard for me to imagine- but I don't think she'll be scarred for life.LOL I'm cracking up that you said " I should have had her practice on littler paper, as well." b/c you are totally pulling a Molly there.;) Don't beat yourself up! It's a funny story to tell in the future.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2004
Wed, 05-20-2009 - 12:44pm

Haha! I guess I did pull a Molly. At the same time, even Molly is less likely to pull a Molly if I prepare her in advance for what's coming her way...LOL. So, the littler paper, in theory, might have spared me/the librarians the scene.

I sorta added that as more of an idea for those folks who may also be Library Card Stage Mothers. And it would probably help to bribe the child with M&M's or skittles. Hahahahaha!

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