From going to the toddler playgrounds to the trampoline and bounce parks, Timmy is constantly around other children his age. Children his age don't necessarily play together, but they are learning to take turns and to socialize. Timmy loves nothing more than climbing, sliding, running and jumping. He is definitely a rough and tumble kid who is in near constant motion. Figuring that we had the physical side of his socialization covered, over the weekend I began to look for opportunities for him to participate in a more structured activity.
I was delighted when I discovered a local toddler story time at our library. I knew that sitting quietly with others would be a stretch for him, but I was optimistic that the experience would be beneficial. After all, certainly the librarian was not expecting perfect behavior and attentiveness from the young toddler participants, right?
Wrong! When I arrived, I was a tad concerned that Timmy was (by far) the youngest participant. Although it was advertised as a toddler time, all of the other kids were between four and five. There is a difference between a two year old and a four year old. While all of the other children sat quietly on the rug waiting for class to start, mine was jumping around the "listening circle" happily entertaining the young audience. When the librarian began the session, I ushered Timmy over and tried to keep him still. I was hoping that he would follow the lead of everybody else. Again, I could not have been more wrong.
He squealed with delight at every opportunity. When the class began to clap their hands to a song, mine leaped from my arms and began to dance on the table. I can tell you that the librarian was not amused with my little table dancer.
The librarian pulled out a Halloween book, read the first page and quietly began to circulate it among the audience. The kids were instructed to smell the scratch and sniff pumpkin sticker that was put on the first page. Every child took their turn smelling the book. When it was Timmy's turn, I first smelled the sticker myself in the hopes that he would copy my behavior. Instead he grabbed it from my hands, licked the page and threw the book across the room.
It was then that the librarian politely suggested that he was not ready for story time and invited us to come back another time. In other words, we were expelled from class. I picked up my little book-licker and was forced to do the walk of shame out of the the toddler time circle. Sigh. I really hope that this isn't a precursor to his academic career.