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Blatantly feeding the guys’ addiction – to books

Submitted by on Friday, 30 January 2009 No Comment

libraryShe came to Big Guy’s school Tuesday with an agenda, and he fell hard for the sales pitch.

“Mom, the lady talked to our class today, and you have to fill this out. We have to go,” he said, pulling a yellow paper from his backpack and waving it.

I made a mental note to complain to the school about people pushing things on little children when some families are struggling to pay bills and got ready to replay my standard speech about how we can’t afford  everything we want.

Big Guy stopped me on my way to making conclusion-jumping an Olympic sport.

“It’s a lie-berry card, Mommy. She wants me to get a lie-berry card.”

I smiled broadly. “And she’s right. What a wonderful idea!”

I had to put him off because our local branch is closed Tuesdays, the result of budget cuts. Were it not for a small county sales-tax supplement dedicated to libraries, the situation would be much worse.

Finally, though, his day arrived. We filled out the paper and headed downtown.

He was disappointed that he didn’t see the librarian who’d visited his class when we got there, but he quickly accepted the friendly lady working behind the counter as a substitute.

“I need a library card,” he said, pushing his application toward her.

And in a matter of minutes, he had his card, a rainbow-colored passport to joys previously only imagined.

He ran to the children’s section and quickly embraced an over-sized teddy bear. “I like it here,” he smiled.

He didn’t sit for long, rushing next to explore shelf after shelf of volumes. “They have way more books than we do at home,” he proclaimed.

Boots, who has begged for months to visit the lie-berry at Big Guy’s school, was just as delighted. Finally, he was on equal footing with his brother.

I expected to have to physically remove them after an hour of vacillating in the face of all those glorious books. They fooled me, though, choosing three each in under 20 minutes. I suppose knowing they could come back again and everything was free so they wouldn’t have to hear Mom’s penny-pinching lecture helped speed up the process.

Big Guy picked some gems: I’m already in love with “Rattletrap Car.” Bonus points that he can read so much of it. And that it has an actual story to it.

Boots didn’t so so well on the Mommy scale: “The Construction Alphabet Book” has to be the most inane preschool volume I’ve ever endured. “K is for Knuckleboom Loader”? Nadia Comaneci couldn’t  stretch that far without pulling a muscle. It’s hard for even an old drama queen like me to sell the joys of X-bracing, though I try mightily.

Happily, I only have to live with it for seven days. I’ve promised them we’ll go back every week, and I’m hoping Boots will pick something little more interesting next time.

I don’t complain too much, though, because at least it’s interesting to him. And at least they’re both excited about this wonderful new world they’ve discovered.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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