It’s hard to be the little one

Friday I took the kids to the library to sign up for the summer reading program. Of course the library is closing in a week for extensive renovations, meaning that our summer reading will now consist of the same books we already have read over and over and over again, but I’m not at all bitter. The end result, so they tell me, will be a more user friendly and comfortable library with WiFi everywhere. And if I will actually be able to take my laptop to the library and sit in a comfortable chair instead of the 70’s originals that are in there now, I am all for it.

Anywhoo, there we were at the summer reading program sign up desk and the library page asks my kids “Do you want to sign up for the readers club or the listeners club?” I step in and reply “The listeners club,” which causes C to give me a look of pure hatred. “I can READ, Mom, I want to be in the READERS club.” OK, I think. If he wants to spend the summer plowing through our early readers over and over again, I’m not going to complain. “Fine C, go ahead. But you know this means you have to read all by yourself and can’t count the books I read to you at night.” Eye roll and all, “I KNOW Mom. I AM going into kindergarten.”

A then pipes in “I’m a reader too!” To which the clearly not so familiar with children page responds “Oh! OK then! We’ll sign you up for the readers club!” “But A, you don’t even know all your letters!” I quickly respond. “I DO! I can read! I CAN!” And A bursts into tears. The page looks confused and can’t quite seem to decide what went wrong where and what to do about it.

Finally, she comes out with “A, if you want to switch to the readers club later in the summer if you learn to read, you can just come back and switch, OK?” A is still bawling. “I AM a reader. I AM.” I grab the summer reading materials, promising to fill them out at home and bring them back before the big closing, and carry a bawling A out to the car, dragging an unwilling C behind me.

I bet you can guess how we have spent the last few days. A is bound and determined to learn how to read. She had M drilling her on the alphabet yesterday, and me pointing out every word in every book she loves. “What’s that word? And that one? Move your finger Mommy!” This morning when I went into her room, every early reader was piled high on her bed from the night before when she had clearly paged through them all after we had tucked her in.

The girl has determination, you have to give her that. And I won’t be at all surprised if I am trying to explain how we can’t actually return to the library mid-summer to sign her up for the reading club because the library is closed, despite the cheerful words of the library page.

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