I vowed I would never become one of *those* mothers. I never thought I’d use Barnes & Noble as a destination on a gray day. But now that Isabelle is two and I’m looking for something to do on a non-pool summer day, it has become a place to escape. I mean, it’s air conditioned and has books. Heck, there’s even a coffee shop in case we need a snack. What could be better?
When I say one of *those* mothers, I mean the ones who let their children break up the children’s section as if it were a playground. I remember watching parents and nannies allowing their children to scatter books, educational games, and stuffed animals while running around the book stacks when I lived in Manhattan. That really irked me. While Barnes and Noble is not a library, there is a level of decorum and respect one needs to impart top their children when bringing their child to a bookstore.
Isabelle does NOT have carte blanche to run around the children’s section at our local Barnes & Noble. When we arrived she wanted to go over to the train table. However, there were at least five other kids there, most of whom were bigger than her. Therefore, I persuaded her to sit at a small table while I read Ball and Bear and Bee aloud to her. Once I finished the second one, we ventured back to the train table where she took turns playing nicely with the train and two other toddlers. (Well, one of the toddlers played nicely with her. The other one was a menace who kept stealing the trains out of her hand. Eventually his mother put him in a stroller and took him home screaming.)
Once she was done playing with the trains, she found a board book display. She pointed to Good Night Moon, which delighted me since she recognized the cover of an old favorite. Then she threw all six copies onto the floor. She looked at the pile beside her feet, smiled, and looked at me for a response. “You may bend over and pick up those books.”
She began to scurry off to another display.
I could’ve picked them up myself, but instead I skulked after her. I tapped her on the shoulder three times, took her hand, and led her back to the copies of Good Night Moon on the floor. “We don’t throw books on the floor. Books belong on the shelf. You may pick them up and put them back.”
And do you know what? She did. One by one by one by one by one by one. Granted, I neatened them so their covers were facing out, but she picked them up herself. And you know what else? It didn’t happen again.
How’s that for not becoming one of *those* mothers?
But before you get too excited about how compliant my daughter is, allow me to tell you that five minutes later she removed all five plastic shopping baskets from the holder. She carried one around with a box set of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books for a good five minutes. She wasn’t bothering anybody, but I wanted to pay for the books we intended to buy and leave the store on a good note. I eventually got her to put all of those baskets back. (I even got her to put the box set back by telling her they weren’t just-right books for her. (Pats self on back.)