Checkout!

-posted by Meghan

There are days when you think the things your kids are picking up from you (without you purposefully teaching them) aren’t so good.  Like when I hear Jacob say, “First Mommy shower, then Mommy put on a little makeup, then we go to park.”  And both kids clamor, “I want to do make-up.  I need some make-up!”  Really?  Am I teaching them to be vain and dissatisfied with their looks?  Or when we go to the store and Molly says, “Don’t forget list!  Mommy needs list!  Mommy needs some chocolate!”  I’m teaching them to be chocolate chomping control freaks?  I didn’t mean to!

But then there are the days when you know you’re doing something right.  I just had one of those, and it made me feel great.

We got home from the library and I put the kids in their room with their new books.  I left to go make lunch.  When I returned about 10 minutes later, they were so completely absorbed in the new game they had invented that I could watch for a few minutes without influencing them.  They’d grab a book off the bookshelf, run it over to a toy they have that has a shiny surface, run the book across it and yell “Checkout!”, placing the book in their toychest.  The toychest was filled with all their new library books, and then piled on top were about 100 of their own books.

I asked them what they were doing, and Jacob said, “Checkout!  Like at the library!”  And that night, when Jacob was looking for one of his favorite books to read (Richard Scary’s Best Word Book Ever).   After I explained to him that we had returned it to the library that day but we had gotten some new books, he said, “Maybe next time go to library, get word book again and bring it home.”  Yes!  He totally gets how a library works.  I’ve never particularly explained how a library works to them, we just go about once a week and it’s become second nature to them.  I knew they loved books (they’ve got nature and nurture working for them on this one), but I never thought about the library becoming part of their world, and how important it was to me.  It made me feel like a good Mom.  On the whole, if they wear make-up, eat chocolate and love the library, is that so bad?

I don’t really have a huge point, recommendation, or even adorable picture to go with this.  I think I just wanted to tell a cute story, act like a proud Mum, and maybe encourage you to take your kids to the library, even if you think they’re too young.  I’ve been taking Molly and Jacob literally since the day they were born, and now when I watch them “read” to other kids at the library, get and give recommendations (Molly handed her favorite Lulu book to a little girl we met named Lulu, and I just about died), and come home and continue to play pretend library, I realize that they’ve been absorbing and learning some important things things all along, and none of us knew it.  Or maybe I wanted to tell you that if you’re sick of playing “giddyup” or singing “itsy bitsy spider” for the 500th time today, “checkout” is a pretty fun game to introduce your kids to.

(Did I mention that they have special blocks with holes in them that they have to be wearing like bracelets in order to play checkout?  That they didn’t learn from me.  I swear!)

Update: turns out, I do have an adorable picture!  After downloading the random pictures I’ve taken this week, I saw this one, of them wearing the block bracelets, in the middle of playing “Checkout.”

mar7

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2 Responses to Checkout!

  1. marydventura says:

    What a great game! I have kept Gabe’s first library checkout receipt in his baby book as a reminder of what his first library books were. It’s also a great way of documenting which books are keepers and which ones weren’t so great.

  2. Meghan says:

    I wish I’d thought of saving their checkout receipts! That’s a great idea.

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