board books · bookstore · OBSERVATIONS

I have become one of *those* mothers. Well, kind of.

20130618-154616.jpgI 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.”

20130618-154627.jpgAnd 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.)


15 thoughts on “I have become one of *those* mothers. Well, kind of.

  1. It is never too early to start teaching a child that they have certain rules in stores. I love that you helped her to learn how she was expected to behave there. It is great that she is already recognizing a favorite book! Give yourself some more pats on the back for a job well done. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Andrea! I mean, it’s not like she’d get away with throwing books on the floor without a consequence at home. I always find it funny how toddlers try to get a rise out of their parents!

  2. Bravo! Stacey I can never in ten million years imagine you being one of *those* mothers. She put the books back and you just saved yourself having to pick up after her, and you saved her roommates and her future spouse having to pick up after her for the rest of her life. And a little pat on your back from me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I think of Isabelle’s future kindergarten teacher and how she will love how respectful your daughter is of books. These are the formative years and you are doing well and being so patient.

  4. Yes, it is sad but true, the store is an escape for gray days. I can’t imagine a better place to learn the rules of shopping. She just needs to test the waters and see if the same rules apply away from home.
    I used to take my son to a mall because they had play equipment in an area when we didn’t have anything else to do.

  5. Barnes & Noble has some wide spaces and seems welcoming to me. I’m glad you’ve begun to show her what we do & what we don’t. Seems very nice for a two year old. I too don’t think I would ever think you would be one of ‘those’ moms, but sometimes our kids do make us want to look the other way too, don’t forget (te he). I think it’s fun she recognized a favorite book, too. Pat on the back for sure Stacey, no matter what!

  6. Sounds perfect! We sometimes use the bookstore as a “destination” – even now that they are older. Sounds like she’s learning the right way to behave, which I think is exactly right. I often give the “teacher eye” to kids who aren’t behaving properly in public. Even if their parents are there. *chuckles*

  7. Yay Isabelle and Isabelle’s mom. I think she knew what to do with those books, and was just checking to see what YOU thought! Bookstores and libraries were our destinations on rainy days, too – in the end, t hat practice made joyful book lovers of my three…just like your little one!

  8. I loved the reminder of your earlier post about saying you may and why you choose that wording. I will be needing those words in the next couple of years!

    I smiled when I saw her with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid box set, wondering what the story would be behind that.

  9. Stacey,
    Your post made me laugh. Oh, the times I have hoped to not be one of those moms. Thankfully, my kids helped me to not have to go there. However, I am sure my youngest daughter (a teenager) might consider me one of those moms with too strict of rules.

    Anyway, I did love your story. I think Barnes and Noble is the perfect place to spend a rainy day — though it likely resulting in spending some money too!

    Isabelle sounds like a delight. I enjoy your stories of her as they take me back to when my kids were small which seems just a blink ago.


  10. I am constantly amazed by your patience, calmness, and thoughtfulness in responding to your daughter, Stacey. Someday, when I’m a mom, I only hope I can use the kind of language and actions that you use with your daughter. You are an amazing mom!

  11. Great slice Stacey! My daughter turns three in July and that situation and Isabelle testing your boundaries seem to be right out of my life right now. The train table at B&N is great, as well as the various displays of books and toys. A bookstore on a rainy day beats sitting in front of a TV every time. Great slice and parenting.

  12. Your post made me smile. I remember when my oldest daughter (who is now 24 years old) was little. I was sure that she wouldn’t do any of those things that I watched other kids do. I thought that my “excellent knowledge of young children and educational training” had me covered. Boy was I wrong. She did all those things that I said she wouldn’t do. She went through all the phases…and in the end she’s turned out to be an exceptional young woman. Enjoy this journey. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. It sounds like each of you was playing your role perfectly. She was testing the limits and you were explaining them to her. Goodness we need more of that with parenting today! Sounds like a great day to me!

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