Four hours to kill in a city we know only for its mall. Where to go? What to do?
Hit the library, of course!
During Oliver's Bio visits Wednesday, I entertained the remaining three kiddos for the better part of a morning at a massive, beautifully designed and well-stocked downtown library. We showed up at about 10:15 a.m., just as a toddler story hour was breaking up. The newly-freed tots wandered around with their hands full of Wiggles videos for a few minutes before their nannies ushered them off for their pre-lunch KinderGym appointments. As soon as the area cleared a bit, we found a child-sized table and settled in for the long haul.
Not that it felt like a long haul. All in all, we were there nearly three hours --but we could have stayed much longer had the grumbling in our stomachs not started to disturb our peace.
At the library, Jo immediately took up residency in the reference section, where she was thrilled to find huge, heavy volumes devoted to the presidents, branches of government and Robert's Rules of Order. What can I say? Both her father and I majored in Political Science in college. She comes by it honestly. At any rate, she was perfectly content filling a notebook with collected bits of information for our entire stay.
Atticus wandered the fiction shelves, finally settling on a novel entitled Robin's Country. He brought it back to the table and began to devour the book ... finishing just in time for our exit.
Logan was slightly more squirrely. After humoring me through a handful of very easy readers (Go, Dog, Go! was one of the selected titles), he pointed out that everyone else had been allowed to find their own amusement, while he was subjected to a reading session with me. Ah, fair enough, son. I decided that pinning him down on his current "I'd really rather not read right now" trend was probably better done somewhere else, and let him loose. He followed me to the World War II section and spent some time leafing through a collection of photographs from the homefront. When he'd had his fill of that, he wandered to a section boasting books on Ancient Greece and poured over that for quite some time. Sensing his waning interest some time later, I resorted to a fifteen minute session on a library computer with the website Brain Pop, Jr. I use that site from time to time to remind me that I really do need to make sure Logan gets the kindergarten basics as he whizzes through U.S. History.
I counted that morning as school instead of lost time. Just a further example of how a love of learning is far more important than any fact or figure you can stuff into your children's minds.