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I've been lucky enough for the last year to be able to snag the car from my husband (we're a one car family) once a week so I can take my daughter to storytime at our local library. Since it's literally the only time she gets to socialize with other children during the week, I've worked really hard to be sure and get us there no matter what. Sure, she sucks at sitting still and listening (and frequently stand RIGHT IN FRONT of the book being read) but she's definitely grown and gotten better at participating. I do love seeing her enjoy the new books and playing with toys but, I gotta tell ya, as a total introvert, I'm totally over being there with other parents. I KNOW! I'm an asshole. But listen, they're all there and have all these different personalities and, for my social anxious ass, it's super overwhelming. And they all basically fall into the same groups, or, as I like to call it – the 10 people you meet at library storytime:
I've been lucky enough for the last year to be able to snag the car from my husband (we're a one car family) once a week so I can take my daughter to storytime at our local library. Since it's literally the only time she gets to socialize with other children during the week, I've worked really hard to be sure and get us there no matter what. Sure, she sucks at sitting still and listening (and frequently stand RIGHT IN FRONT of the book being read) but she's definitely grown and gotten better at participating. I do love seeing her enjoy the new books and playing with toys but, I gotta tell ya, as a total introvert, I'm totally over being there with other parents. I KNOW! I'm an asshole. But listen, they're all there and have all these different personalities and, for my socially anxious ass, it's super overwhelming. And they all basically fall into the same groups, or, as I like to call it – the 10 people you meet at library storytime:
The Parent Of A Genius: This person has been given the gift of a genius child and they will tell you all about it. LOUDLY. And all the damn time. In fact, they're so busy pointing out how smart their kid is that they frequently miss the fact that their little Einstein is currently picking their nose and eating it. Or full body tackling another kid to the ground. Or naming the wrong colors during a color naming game. Oh yes, their kid's a genius. NOT.
The Always Late Parent: This is me. I am never, EVER on time. I totally am the one who shows up five minutes late and interrupts the first book being read. Usually with my daughter's hair unbrushed or faint traces of breakfast still on her face. Oops. I have no idea how this happens every single week but I acknowledge that I am That Asshole.
The Dad: Listen, most of these storytimes are filled with moms. Occasionally, you'll get a married couple who have a day off together and bring the kids but really, it's nearly always moms. Except that one guy. You know him, the stay-at-home dad or a shift worker (i.e. firefighter) who is there every week with their kid. This guy is either super social (and flirty) or tried very hard to not listen to conversations about mucus plugs.
The Endlessly Pregnant Lady: It's tough being knocked up and doing library time with your kid(s). All you want to do is sit and rest but you've got to clap your hands with the songs and stop the little bastards from climbing up on the window sills. So I always feel an extra little bit of sympathy for those ladies who seem to never stop being pregnant. They have a toddler, and an infant, and a baby in a car seat – AND they're sticking out to there with the next one. I have no idea how they have the energy but bless 'em.
The Sactimommy: These are your Judgy McBitches who have nothing better to do then point out and discuss how much better they are at parenting than everyone else in the room. Personally, these women (and it's ALWAYS women) never talk to me or with me – just always ABOUT me. How can I leave the house without make-up or doing my hair? Answer: Easy. I just don't care. How can I allow my daughter to run around the room during storytime? Answer: I don't allow her. She just does it. Can't you see me ALWAYS FUCKING CHASING AFTER HER and trying to get her to participate? How about you shut up and keep your freaking opinions to yourself? I hate you.
The Granola Parent: Often times they are combined with the category above and sometimes, they're just nice people who reek of patchouli. They only have bulk purchased organic snacks in their made-from-old-saris-by-impoverished-third-world-ladies purse. They're children are always named after elements and only ever referred to by BOTH NAMES (i.e. "Ebony Rain" or "Blue Earth"). They visit the library because they don't believe in owning books when you can borrow them for free. Sometimes, they lecture you about the gas mileage of the car you're driving and sometimes they're just chill so approach with caution until you're sure which one they are.
The Educational Parent: I don't know what this parent's deal is but they're making the rest of us slack-asses look bad. Every freaking moment is a potential educational opportunity. Hey look, I'm a former teacher and I straight up believe in incorporating learning into everyday activities but, DUDE, CALM DOWN. Sometimes, it's okay to just let your kid play with the damn toys during playtime – no need to make them count everything or ask them what kingdom that animal is in. Just. Let. Them. Play. Sometimes.
The Jesus Parent: I'm sure that I experience a higher volume of these people in Texas but OMG with the Jesus People. The first thing they ask you is what church you go to (and GOOD LORD, the looks on their faces when you say "none"). They object to half the books being read as being "inappropriate". They want to know when we'll be reading books about Jesus ("and NOT about that red devil, Santa Claus") at Christmas time. And, oh yeah, we call it "CHRISTMAS" and not "the holidays" because WE'RE GOOD PEOPLE, you heathens. They also constantly try to "save" you. I just want them to go away.
The Grandparent: In this day and age, you;re going to find at least one grandparent at storytime with their grandkid. With the high cost of living and child care, tons of people are using the Grandparent Nanny Service. Lots of times, these are super nice people who are genuinely enjoying the opportunity to help out and spend a little more time with their grandbabies. Others… not so much. Maybe they hated being a parent the first go around or maybe they can't stand their daughter-in-law but these people just really, really DO NOT want to be there and taking care of their grandkid.
The Social Parent: I don't know if this person is just super outgoing or if they're home a lone a lot and miss talking to grown-ups but they talk ALL THE TIME. TO everyone. Endlessly. So much that they never bother watching their kids (who inevitably are busy punching my kid in the head or stealing toys from babies). It's so bad that when they do notice their child misbehaving – they KEEP TALKING to their friends while pulling their kid off yours (and NEVER, EVER acknowledging the problem at hand or apologizing). They just never, ever shut up.
So which one are you? Be honest! I'm a combination of several of the 10 people you meet at library storytime – tell me which one(s) you are!