Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Library Mom"

Today I tried to conform into what I always aspire to be: what I call a "Library Mom." You know those moms at the library who speak in hushed tones to their kids as they usher them around helping them find appropriate books. They check out a huge stack and always return them on time. The ones who are always at story time every week. I also categorize some of those great moms I see at the doctor's office as these moms...the ones who bring a bag full of age-appropriate learning things to do with their kids while they wait, and as they "play" with their kids they softly explain to them their plans for the rest of the day..."We'll be here at the doctor for just a little longer and then we get to go to the grocery store. You can help me pick out the broccoli! Then we'll go home and read all your library books!"

You get the picture. Pretty much the opposite of the usual me: that mom who's racing through the library trying to keep up with her kids while juggling her baby and a stack of books on her hip as her kids are twirling around yelling in excitement at the books they're tearing off the shelves. Or the mom at the doctor's office who's trying to keep one eye on her kids while trying to catch up on reading her book club book with the other eye. Or there's the grocery store...that mom who's trying to keep from crying herself as her kids are whining begging for gum and fruit snacks and chocolate while she's trying to check out and realizing she forgot something very important that's in the back corner of the store. She stands there debating whether she can just leave her crying kids while she runs back to pick it up...or, in a desperate situation and if the grocery clerk is a nice one, she may even wonder if she should just make a run for it. That nice clerk will surely adopt those poor abandoned kids and give them a good home. After all, they are pretty cute.

But today was different. Today my girls and I had a serious plan, and I think I got as close as I'm gonna get to those library moms.

This morning Grace, Claire, Lucy and I packed up the double stroller and clicked Gracie's bike helmet on and headed out for our four mile run to the library. Now, I must admit, we didn't actually make it into the library, but I'm going to go ahead and count that we returned two books that were two months overdue in the drive thru book return as we ran. We took a break to take in the beauty of the horses and the strange emu and four nice dogs on the way. We stopped at the riparian preserve behind the library and fed the ducks. Then the girls wanted to stay and play. So I sat there with them and hung out in the gorgeous weather (among all the "real" library moms who no doubt had just been to story time at the library and were getting ready to spread out nutritious picnics on the picnic tables nearby). I'll count that I had a handful of gluten-free cheerios on hand instead of a full-on picnic...the kids didn't seem to mind.

And really, a "real" library mom would have been wearing a nice colorful sweater or something proper like that, and I was there in my workout clothes doing the "plank" and sit ups under a tree with Lucy while the older girls climbed around on the stuff there to their heart's content, but I'm still counting that because I'm sure a good library mom always gets her workouts in. I worked with Lucy on recognizing each of her sisters, what her nose is, and what her shoes are. On the way home we looked for "signs of spring" and gathered a whole armful of wild flowers to bring home with us. We picked up some trash on the way home to help "take care of our world." I was even compassionate both times Grace fell off her bike and howled like she was going to die because of a tiny scrape. Yep, I'm sure any real library mom would have been proud.This afternoon I bribed the girls to help me clean out and re-organize all the winter and summer clothes getting the closets ready for spring. Grace worked so hard she earned a mini-pedicure and you should have seen the excitement oozing out of her as her toenails were painted bright, glittery blue with white flowers. Claire didn't work so hard, but I was able to let her know that next time she'd be picking out some sparkly nail polish too if she worked her little heart out like Gracie did, and not even one tantrum resulted from my explanation. Then we came home and had a big dance party with root beer floats before I tucked them into bed. Today was magical. Today I was my own kind of "library mom." Yes, I did forget the sunscreen resulting in one of poor Lucy's large cheeks being sun"kissed," and yes, only two out of three of the girls got their hair done today, but Grace did proclaim me to the best mom in the world three times. Now that feels good.

Tomorrow I'm sure I'll be flying by the seat of my pants again, but we do have another "plan" in store so we'll see how it goes. Each day I really put my heart into it I think I come a little closer to being that mom I want to be. That mom that Heavenly Father wants me to be. Who knows, maybe I'll even make it to library story time next week!

20 comments:

Kara Jayne said...

Your awesome Shawni! I'm so mad that the school break that you stay in town...I leave!! I would have loved your sort of "library Mom" day.

I think you said it right. We are all the Mom's that are right for us. No comparing necessary. I like your kind anyway!

Brigitta said...

What a truely magical mom day. You should feel very good about all the good things "library mom" did today. Those are the days when you think okay I'm not so bad of a mom and I am doing things to enrich my childrens lives. Good job!!!

Jessie said...

I am the same way with the Library and the Grocery store Shawni I was laughing as I was reading.
I love the picture at the salon getting the pedicure! I am so excited for Sienna to get big enough to go with me to get our toes done.
Your girls are so beautiful.
As for the chore chart you were wondering about....you would probably laugh at my home made chart but it's working....
We just got poster board and made a big calendar with three spaces on each day where they can put their stickers for the day. Different colors for different jobs..then if they have all their stickers for the week they will get paid on Saturday's.
So far it's working and they love to put the stickers on everyday. And it's really nice to have them helping so much around the house.
I'm crossing my fingers they keep it up.

Dancin Queen said...

Beautiful!

I wish I could be that library mom, but to tell you the truth. I don't even have a library card. Our public library costs $80 a year for a membership (public library!) and that makes me mad, and it's so stressful when I go, that I don't even bother.

Anyway, this is what I love about blogs--you can record the magical days and try to forget the rest! =)

julie said...

You know, I know it's supposed to be quiet in a library. But I feel like at this point in the game, if my kids are happy, they are going to laugh, and whisper louder than they speak normally. Again, I know it's supposed to be quiet, but it's also supposed to be enjoyable. I want my kids to love the library, so I pick my battles. No yelling, running, climbing, fighting, eating, ripping, or whining. But laughing is allowed. Albeit, quietly...

You ARE a library Mom. You just don't act like the librarian! And that is what makes you the best mom, ever!

PS... What I would kill for a bundle of those flowers you picked. We just spied some buds yesterday and it thrilled me.

Michelle Rigby said...

You're better than a "Library Mom"! Who wants a mom that hushes them in the corners of the Library, anyway? :)
Are you open to San Tan this week?
Here's my email address: mp_rigby@hotmail.com - it might be easier to communicate thru email than blog posts :)

Jonah & Aja said...

Library moms produce boring adults.


Besides, days are only magical when they are out of the ordinary.

Tami said...

I love that you mentioned your library trips!! We went yesterday (I drove though) and I had to wonder why every trip costs me $20 in late fees. Each time I think that I will get a grip on the due dates! Oh well. I look at it as my charitable contributions to our public libraries. I'm just impressed you took time to feed the ducks and collect wild flowers. That's awesome. Pedicures are the BEST bribes/incentives for little girls. Ellie loves them. Have a great week.

maryclaire said...

First of all...I've decided that there is no such library mom. Lately, those "library mom" days or moments seem to be happening more for me as well (I think it's due to the better weather), and it's then that I realize whenever I see mom's having those moments while I'm not, they're just moments for them as well. It's days/moments that keep us going. We had a day like that yesterday as well.

shawni said...

Mary Claire, I'm totally with you. I'm sure all moms have their moments. I'm just trying to make the moments happen more regularly. Hey, I've totally lost your blog. I know you were changing something on it and now I can't find it anymore. What's your new address?

Melissa said...

Shawni, I was so glad to read the update on little Lucy. What an angel, too adorable for words.

Loved this post- isn't funny we strive so hard to what it right for our children, for ourselves, family etc....and only with Heavenly Father's guidance can we strike a proper balance. You are by high standards a great mom- library & Shawni mom!

Amy said...

so glad i read this post...i just remembered the books i checked out probably a month ago and left at my mom's house. thanks! and amen to all the other replies.

Erika said...

Who needs a library mom when you have a supermom? I would much rather be the die-hard jogging mom that you described. And in the "plank" position?! You are tough!! And it sounded like such a great day.

I had to laugh though because I just made it back "inside" the library last week. My kids were laughing loudly and chasing each other around the bookshelves, I paid $20 in unpaid fines from November, and we stumbled late into story time. I had to feed the baby in the back and watched my kids from the little window as they left story time and played with those wooden ball toys they have at the tables. Good times!

Jennifer Knight said...

I'm echoing everyone...but I would rather have that kind of day than the perfect "Library Mom" day - and much more achievable too. And the kids no doubt learned more!

april hickman said...

Shawni, you are so sweet to take the time to comment on my blog. I look at yours daily to see if there is something new. I have so many questions that I want to ask you. How do you do it? How do you make time for five kids, a husband, a job, blogging, working out, eating right, service, and I'm sure other things I don't even know about. Do you Have any time for yourself? Do you sleep? And on top of all that you have such a positive outlook! Girl, you are truly amazing!!!! Keep up the good work.
April

Jamie C. said...

Wow, I think any mom that takes 3 girls out for a four mile run is a far crazier, I mean, greater mom than any library mom. :) And sit ups in the park too? Yep, definitely better than those library moms! I was reading your post about your sweet Lucy...she's one lucky girl to have you for a mom! You're very inspiring!

Jen said...

I remember a friend telling me that she had taken her four children to the library and that the librarians asked her not to come back. I thought that was so sad-we as moms try our best and sometimes just getting there, like you said, is a feat in and of itself!

Thanks for sharing your beautiful day. Hopefully it will inspire me to have more planned days with my children as well. Those days often seem to go better, but they sure take a lot of energy!!

Cheryl said...

Good for you! You amaze me. A four mile run to the library plus sit ups and energy to spare. I had plans to head to the libray on Wednesday for story time (with only 2 in tow) and with our insane downpour barely made it to Sam's Club. Wishing I could have made plans like you and followed through!

While your hubby and 2 kiddos are off making memories skiing, here you are making some incredible ones at home. Love it!

When you see your kids light up with delight, snuggle close and tell you that you are the best- it's beyond worth it. It's priceless!

A nearly perfect day for one wonderful mom (and 3 very lucky kiddos)!

brooke martin said...

I am so glad I stumbled across your blog. I never leave comments like this on people I don't know- but I just HAD to tell you how beautiful your family is and what a darling blog this is. Love it.
My dad is brothers with Tom Farnsworth. I'm pretty sure you guys are good friends with Tom and Melissa? Anyhow- cute blog!

The Allen's said...

Hey shawni. It is Kelyn Allen. We were at Zaharis' a couple of weeks ago and I heard about your blog. And I am glad to cause you already inspired me to do better this week at being the mom. Hope you don't mind me adding you to my blog. your kids are cute as ever.

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