Expectation Vs. Reality: Going to the Library with a Toddler

Growing up, my parents took my siblings and me to the library almost every Saturday morning. I attribute these trips as a component to my love of reading as an adult. Wanting to instill the same love of reading into Babykins, I’ve started to add a trip to the library into our weekly routine.

This sounds great in theory. It gives us another activity to do during the week and it will introduce Babykins to even more books. I always envision our trips to the library to be peaceful and fun. I’ll find some books to check out. Babykins will then sweetly sit in my lap as we read together among the shelves of the children’s section. What a great mom I am to bring my young daughter to the library!


In reality, our trips to the library go like this:

First, I let Babykins crawl up the steps to the children’s section. She then wants to crawl back down the steps. I tell her, “No, no, we’re going to look at books first.” She cries.

I try to distract Babykins with a book. She looks at it for 10 seconds and then starts pulling more books off the shelf. “No, no,” I tell her. She cries (after all, Pull-the-Books-Off-the-Shelf is one of her favorite games at home).

I then try to distract Babykins with the only toys our town’s library has: stuffed animals. It works for about 20 seconds, and then she wants to sit in one of the plastic chairs. I put her on it. She then tries to stand on it. I say, “No, we don’t stand on these chairs! You’ll get hurt.” She cries.

I take Babykins off the chair and put her on the floor. “Let’s read a book!” I exclaim. I try to find one that is short enough for her attention and put her on my lap. I start reading. She listens for about 2 pages and then wiggles away.

Babykins spots the stairs again (why are the board books next to the stairs anyway?!) and quickly starts crawling towards them. I grab her and explain, “No, no, we’re not going down the stairs yet. Mommy still needs to find books for you.” She cries.

By this point, my patience is waning and Babykins is tried of having me ruin her fun. She’s starting to fuss and I’m randomly pulling books off the shelf. There is no time to carefully select books that will nurture Babykins’s mind; there is no sweet moment of reading together. Nope, we’re just an irritated toddler and frazzled mother.


However, since I like attempting the same thing over and over again and hoping for different results, we’ll be heading to the library again next week! What fun!


3 Comments on “Expectation Vs. Reality: Going to the Library with a Toddler”

  1. mcglaut190 says:

    Does your library have a Baby lap time? Ours has one every Wednesday. They sing songs and give the babies rattles to shake/chew on. The librarian even reads a few baby friendly big books to them. Almost all the babies seem to enjoy it, and they get to play and interact with other babies also.

    • Katrina says:

      Our library is very small, so they only have a story time for children of all ages. I’ve only gone once, but it wasn’t really geared for a wiggle-worm 13-month old. The Baby lap time sounds wonderful!

      • mcglaut190 says:

        If you have not already discovered it, I would like to recommend to you the board book “Baby Cakes” by Karma Wilson. You can find it on Amazon. My baby absolutely loves it. A lot of other moms say the same. It is very interactive with kissing and tickling and such.

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