I have unofficially become a nanny-for-hire aka baby sitter. We are strapped for cash and I'm going to start babysitting for Japan. One of the blessings of working and living in a University community is that we are so close to things. Close to a park, to grass, to rolly pollies and snails, close to the shuttles (To ride a shuttle is THE BEST EVER for a 2 year old...), close to art and fountains, and close to the library.
Today I took the little 2 year old I've been watching to the library. It was really exciting to share with him the awesomeness of libraries and books. (He's already borrowing 4 of my other books, including an ancient copy of . We stopped at the street, looked both ways, and crossed. And we walked onto the University campus, amidst the grown up students, and into the library. I whispered seriously "When we go in, you have to be very quiet because you have to be quiet in the library.
It was so cool. The librarian randomly (or not?) met us at the entrance (I think she recognized me and figured out that I don't have a kiddo and also most people probably don't take a 2 year old into a University Library.) She introduced herself and asked if we were there to look at books. She then led us past all the tall rows of boring academic books and study books, to a section of children's books (I am so thankful for our great Liberal Arts Degree program).
The neatest thing ever is to watch a child quietly look at all the books that he can look at and take home for free, to see all that is available. We found books about fire trucks, police cars, dump trucks, boats, animals, foods, bugs, etc. I was impressed with the great selection of stories and books that can educate cross-culturally (I found a really great Thai children's book but they had things about all cultures and religions.) One of the guys working in the library tried to get me to check out a book that has to do with the Iron Curtain (a kid living in like Russia...). It looked pretty heavy for a two-year old.
We got 3 books about various types of cars, the Thai book, "What Do You Do With A Tail Like This?", and "What Star Is This?"
In addition, we have in heavy rotation "Goodnight Moon" and "Everyone Poops" and a two books on animals.
Thank God for Libraries and for Librarians. It's a sensation that I have forgotten. I have forgotten about how exciting it is to go and find a book for fun. I wish they could have given him a library card. I also wish that I could share this experience with other children. It is a good thing.