Home » Reluctant Mother Tries “Story” Hour

Reluctant Mother Tries “Story” Hour

Yesterday it rained.  A Lot.  With  no let up.

Anyone with children knows this is bad news.  Not being able to get outside or out of the house for a little while each day often results in meltdowns, missed naps, and property destruction (and that’s just me. . .don’t even get me started on the kid’s behavior).

All morning, I glanced nervously outside hoping the weather would break just long enough for us to sneak to the Park 0r even the grocery. . .something. . .Any excuse to get outside and walk.  (At the rate I’m eating bagels and coconut cake, I HAVE to walk a LOT or else I’m going to put on 40 lbs in the first trimester alone!)

But by about 9:30, I was forced to admit, things were not looking promising.

THINK.  THINK, DENI.  What to do?  What to do?

I considered Marshy Point Nature Center.  We go there a good bit.  So Mac knows the routine and he likes to be outside when we are there.  I had visions of a muddy Mother Son power struggle ensuing over the tadpoles in the front pond.

My thoughts then turned to museums.  We have so many nice museums in the area.  I had lots of options.  However, there are only a few that allow a stroller inside the actual exhibit space.  And I knew I wasn’t probably a good idea for me physically to drag Mac around the museum in the Ergo.  Furthermore, the museums that did allow strollers presented another problem:  My car is so small, I cannot fit the stroller IN the car.

I needed somewhere that Mac had some freedom to explore, wouldn’t be too menacing to those around him, and didn’t require a stroller or long car ride.  It needed to be close.  I didn’t want to get stuck driving around in the rain for hours should he happen to fall asleep in the car after our adventure.

That’s when I decided perhaps the Library was a good option.  Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library System is excellent.  They have so many branches. . .and every branch I’ve ever been in has friendly staff, a bounty of materials, and really nice facilities.  While Mac was distracted trying to touch the dog’s eyeball, I snuck a look at the Library websites, thinking perhaps one of the many branches located close to us, would have a special program or something for kids on Monday mornings.

The stars aligned!  The Southeast Anchor Branch just a few blocks from our house had a “Mother Goose Story Hour” starting at 11AM for children ages 0 to 36 months.  We could DO IT!

I set aside all my reservations about Mac contracting the plague and started thinking about the logistics.  Normally, we pack a big old hiking backpack with Mac’s necessities.  But I knew I couldn’t physically carry Mac and the backpack so I started stuffing his necessities into a large leather tote.  I got him dressed.  I double-checked the tote to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. . .It was 10:07.  Perfect.

Except then I realized I was wearing yoga pants which were covered in cat hair and a gray T-shirt with holes all over the front.  Oh shit.  I was going to see people.  Other parents.  Other parents I didn’t know.  I had to look presentable. . .fast.

I threw my iPhone at Mac and raced to my closet.  I considered jeans. . .but I just find them so uncomfortable.  I found them uncomfortable when I was a size 4 in high school and yesterday morning, I awoke to a belly the size of my 28th week pregnancy belly despite the fact that I’m only 8 weeks pregnant.  Yes.  It’s VERY disconcerting.  What the hell?  Here, see for yourself:

WTF?  My face pretty much says it all.  I WOKE up that way yesterday morning!!!  I HATE being pregnant.

WTF? My face pretty much says it all. I WOKE up that way yesterday morning!!! I HATE being pregnant.

I needed something that would allow me to crawl all over the floor with Mac comfortably. . .without looking like a complete mess.  I stood in front of the closet smearing a combination of tinted moisturizer and wrinkle cream all over my unwashed face.  Think.

I located a floor-lengh knit dress.  It was forgiving enough to accommodate sumo baby (whom I’m convinced will have a head the circumference of a fourth grader at birth and will no doubt finish the demo job Mac started on my lady parts).

Dress.  Flip flops to match scarf tied on head to cover disgusting unwashed hair.  A little Aquaphor on the lips.  Three squirts of body spray to mask the fact that I hadn’t showered yet today. . .All good.  In 8 minutes or less.  Crisis averted.

We made it to the library with time to spare.  Mac was really shy at first.  I honestly think he thought perhaps we were at a doctor’s office.  But he warmed up quickly and was playing nicely with some blocks and another little girl while her Nanny talked my ear off.  Then he discovered the kid’s computer.  It was loaded with some educational Sesame Street games.  I finally got so sick of hearing the noise I shut the monitor off.  Why are kid’s games and toys SO LOUD?  

The place is FULL of books and toys and THIS is what he chooses to do?

The place is FULL of books and toys and THIS is what he chooses to do?

At about 11:05 another Mother asked me whether there was actually a story time?  Um hello?  I’m wearing three layers of foundation and sunscreen because I’m too lazy to wash my face.  Do I look like a credible source?

Fortunately for us, a Librarian herded us downstairs to a large conference room where they were hosting the Story Hour.

Even though Mac is rapidly approaching his second birthday, I’ll admit that we have NEVER been in an indoor area with approximately 35 children close to his age.

And we were late to the party.

There were kids and adults in a loose circle around a woman who was beating a tambourine.  The noise level in the room had to be enough to temporarily compromise your hearing.  Kids were screaming and chattering.  The room reeked of spit up formula, stale Cheerios, and parental desperation.

I held Mac close to my chest and plopped us down on the floor behind two fathers and their daughters and in front of a row of chairs.  I slide our bag under a chair.  Mac eyed me suspiciously.  I didn’t blame him.  This had all the makings of a complete gong show.

“Just wait, in a few minutes, we’ll hear a story.” I whispered in Mac’s ear.  “Won’t that be fun?”

He looked dubious.

I released my grip on him and he immediately bolted for the door, nearly stiff arming a toddling 16-month old dressed like a cross between circa 1980s Cyndi Lauper and a hooker.

I lumbered to my feet and redirected him.  “Just wait a few more minutes.” I pleaded.

He wandered to the back of the room.  I paused to move a sippy cup someone placed on the chair close to us.  I didn’t want Mac getting any ideas about sampling it.  I looked up to find him attempting to wedge his drooly fingers in a light socket.  He’s trying to off himself!

“I feel your pain buddy,” I mumbled as I redirected him again.  “Please don’t put your fingers in light sockets.  They can be HOT.”

“HOT” he mumbled to himself.

“Here let’s go back and sit down with the other kids, ok?”

But when I looked up, I noticed the “leader” was gone.  Where is she?

And then YMCA came blaring out of all the room’s surround sound.

Mac hit the floor on his stomach in an instinctive duck and cover manuever.

Why is it so LOUD?  My eye was twitching.  And what does YMCA have to do with Mother Goose Story Hour?  I’m confused and I’m not 2 years old.  

The leader started dancing.  A few parents and kids joined her.

I tried tugging on Mac’s arm a few times.  He likes to dance normally.  But he wasn’t having any part of it.  Were those tears in his eyes?

It’s louder than our smoke alarms.  Where’s the effing story?

The leader began dancing around the room passing out toys.

“Ooooh.  Let’s get a toy to share.  Be sure to say thank you to the lady.”  I said shoving a reluctant Mac back towards the group.

That’s when I realized she was passing out musical instruments.  Tambourines.  Maracas.

Kids were beating them on every solid surface in the room.  Kids were banging them on each other. . .The only kids not interested in flogging one another were Mac and the kinda creepy twin boys who were wiping boogers on their stroller in a corner at the back of the room.

I was staring to feel a little panicked.  This was entirely too much stimulation for ME.

After a rousing rendition of YMCA and Shake Your Groove Thing, the Leader asked everyone to sit down again.

“Here’s comes the story!” I squealed at Mac.

Except it wasn’t a story.  The Leader said a few rhymes while holding a rooster puppet and then handed out a bunch of other toys for the kids to play with independently.

Mac sat on my lap putting goldfish crackers in an upside down tambourine.  Pretending to drink them like he was slurping soup from a bowl.

I waited.  We counted the crackers.  We waited some more.

Then parents started leaving.


When the Leader started checking her iPhone, it became clear there would be no story.

“Is there going to be a story?” I asked smiling at the  woman who was in charge of 80’s pop icon/hooker toddler.

“I don’t think so.” She said glancing back at her iPhone.

Pfft.  Is it going to be hard to get Mac out of here without the story he was promised?  I didn’t want to cause a scene.

“Hey Mac, you ready to go home?” I asked, testing his mood.

I’ve never seen him run so fast in all my life.  He practically launched himself at the door.

Seems he and I have the same opinion of “Story” Hour.

NOTE:  I joke.  And it was loud.  But, we will probably go again sometime.  The facilities are excellent.  The Leader was very engaging and fun.  Would I subject a newborn to that chaos? No.  But for 2 or 3 years olds, it could be a nice experience, depending on your individual child’s likes and needs. . .just don’t expect a story.  I believe the program runs through the entire summer.  If you’re local, check the website. . .and let me know if you check it out!







5 Responses to “Reluctant Mother Tries “Story” Hour”

  1. Some days I whine because I don’t get to do story time, playdates, etc. Then I read this and laugh and don’t mind so much. Thanks!
    Anita @ Losing Austin recently posted…Sorry. We can’t be friends.My Profile

  2. Meghan says:

    Love the pic of you and your belly 🙂
    Meghan recently posted…Sprint for Super Saturdays 5KMy Profile

    • admin says:

      Thanks. After today’s post it all makes a little more sense. I’m such an idiot. Ha!

  3. […] Yesterday, I posted a photo showing how freaking LARGE I had become seemingly overnight.  I expected to look this way by about ten or 12 weeks pregnant but not at barely eight weeks.  Of course, my overnight expansion had my Mother and Sisters in hysterics unkindly wishing multiples upon me. […]