Reid and I went to the library after Kindermusik this morning. It started with a bit of suspense. “Us go to library in front of fwiming?” Reid asked. I told her we were going to the one with the fountain (that I didn’t let her play in or watch that one Saturday when I had pneumonia and was barely able to drag myself and the books out to the car). “Ahh,” Reid said, “the grey one.” You could almost here her say, “mystery solved.” She brings such a sense of wonder to life.
Once to the building, Reid got to push the disabled access buttons to open the doors, always a treat. Then, we noticed that one gate has a red circle with a white line through it and the other has a blue circle with a white error. So, I explained the do not enter universal symbol and answered the inevitable why with reference to red meaning stop which, thankfully, Reid knows and didn’t question. As soon as we got into the library proper, Reid was talking about pushing the “elebator” button to go to the kids’ section. As her luck is good, Reid was able to reach the “L” button (for Aunt Lisa) and so got us to where we needed to go. Reid chose some books from the new book shelf, an exciting prospect, even though the vast majority of the books in that building are new to us. Next, we went to look at the carpet that has the alphabet on it (seems most branches in Ottawa have this sort of carpet) and we had time to find the “R”, “M” and “D” before the reading circle started. Reid isn’t keen on this group and so went to choose some books. She likes to sit on the miniature couch and read some books and so we read Where’s Spot by Eric Hill a couple of times and also a book about a milkshake. There is a giant red spotted hippopotamus that is good for squeezing and laying upon and Reid did both while I looked at some of the books that I’d grabbed off of the shelves. Sometimes I don’t check them and I suspect Ken think I’m a little bit nutty at some of the books I bring home. When I’m selecting purely on the cover and spine, odd choices are made. There are also a couple of cushion or mat things that are of the same material as the high jump mats we had for track and field at school. The triangle is red and and the square is blue, both details are noted and discussed by Miss Reid. The two can be pushed together to make a slide. The square is good for jumping, to Reid’s way of thinking, though Mama the worrywart says words like “careful” and “gentle”. After a bit, Reid was off to the computer – Reid hasn’t seen a computer that she didn’t want to use – and then she discovered some paper and a pen on the same desk, or perhaps she remembered they would be ther, and she made some letters. After a while, it was time to checkout. The library has a self-checkout with a stool up to it and Reid helped me for a couple of books and then shooed me away so that she could sign the books out herself. Each book involved happy confirmation that she had it properly oriented, “this way, Mama!” and then, “I did it!” when she heard the clunk sound that meant the book had been checked out (and, I think, the security deactivated).
As we left the library, we stopped to look at the stones in the fountain. Some little boy climbed up next to Reid and splashed her. Was she ever outraged! I’m not sure whether it was the surprise of the water hitting her or the indignation that I had told her that she couldn’t put her hands in the water and then “dat boy” splashed her. We moved away and I relaxed my rule a bit, once she pushed up her sleeves, and she splashed a bit herself. She made faces and told me things and pretended to splash me. Time passes quickly when you’re observing rocks and ripples. We took a quick look at some photos of places in China that were on display in the foyer but they were set up on tippy, long-legged easels that were making me nervous. Besides, we’d spent nearly an hour and half there and we had to get to McDonald’s for “hambidurs” and chocolate milk before nap time.
Reid fell asleep in the car, one bite shy of finishing her hamburger. The trip to the library was a big adventure and wore her out.