Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Bar Has Been Lifted

On our way into the library, I give Mia the reminders: be quiet, stay still, don't throw a fit when it's time to go. She assures me of her understanding and hops along joyfully by my side. Carefully placing the old books into the book return slot, she whispers to me that she doesn't want to go into the parents' side - just the kids' side. No matter how sweet her whispers, I disappoint her by letting her know we'll spend our first few minutes on the boring, quiet side of the library. She behaves beautifully, whispering her normal million-and-one questions all the time.

"Why is it so quiet here?"
"Because people are trying to read."
"Why are they trying to read?"
"Because that's what a Library is for."
"Why is a Library for that?"
"So they have a quiet place to read."
"What are they reading?"
"I don't know, baby. Shhhh..."

Mia holds my hand, waiting patiently while I look for the authors I'm interested in. She warns me when Lauren's tiny hands start grabbing at the nearest bookshelf; she trips over her own feet when I make a sudden turn. At the end of every aisle, she asks hopefully if it's time for the kids' side yet - and when I finally tell her yes, she leads us along in her excited wake.

Shedding our whispers for normal voices, we roam the shortened bookshelves. We toss new books into our stroller while watching the other kids play with puzzles, trains, beanbag chairs, and I know Mia is not long for this roaming. She wants to escape to the train table so badly, I can see the waves of anticipation rolling off of her body.

"Can I please please please play with the trains now?"
"Almost."
"When are we gonna play with the trains?"
"Just a few more minutes,
and we'll go over there together."
"I'm behaving nicely?"
"Yes, you are. Thank you."

When our stroller carries the weight of a preschooler in books, we make our way to the play area. Mia, sensing a shift in purpose, looks at me with twinkles in her blue eyes. The trains? she whispers.

I nod.

She gallops the few feet left and sizes up her options. There's a little boy and a toddler girl, each hovering over the trains protectively, wary of their new competition. Mia grabs the nearest train and begins to drive it around the tracks while I search the closest bookshelf for any beautiful book that may catch my attention.

Vaguely, I gather that Mia (of course) has struck up a conversation with the little boy. They're chattering away, or rather, the boy is chattering. Which surprises me since Mia's been trying to hold in her thoughts for much of our library wandering - I thought for sure that they'd be spilling out all over the place. I glance in her direction and tune myself more closely in to what they're discussing.

The boy is running a play-by-play of his train's actions, barely stopping for breath between each thought before plowing ahead into another description - riveting - of his locomotive friends. Mia opens her mouth several times, trying to sneak in a sentence of her own to no avail. This boy, I think, will never ever stop talking.

When the boy finally comes up for air, Mia slowly begins her statement - drawing it out just to fill up as much space as she can with words of her own before she's talked under the rug again.

"Well."


"That's just."


"Very..."


"Interesting."


I giggle at her obvious lack of knowledge in how to react to such a long monologue (as well as her sweet, too mature response). A taste, I think, of her own medicine. Only, now that she knows there are others out there who will try to out-talk her, I think she will up her game.

I will be talked under the rug, even further than I already am.

3 comments:

  1. Ha ha, how cute! My parents always tease that I was born talking, and I am still a yakker to this day (my poor, poor husband ;)

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  2. Being a mother is a non-stop source of entertainment... no? :)

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  3. Hilarious:)

    You may really appreciate her ability to gab when she's a teenager and you get all the dish, instead of being a parent left in the dark.

    Then again, maybe being left in the dark during those awkward years isn't a bad thing.

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?