Thursday, June 26, 2014
First I was a children’s librarian. Then I became a mom. As I attend story times with my daughter, I have started to make a list of hints that might be helpful to story time performers and/or story time attendees. Today’s hint is for moms (and dads) who attend story time: When in doubt, sit with the Grandmas!
At every story time I have attended or performed, it seems like there has always been at least one grandmother in attendance. Whether Grandma is the regular caretaker, a one-time babysitter, or an out-of-town visitor, here’s why I recommend sitting next to her whenever possible:
- Grandma knows how to behave at story time. She remembers the old days when story time was about sitting still and listening. While she might not expect the baby in her care to be completely attentive, she will, without a doubt, be respectful of the story time performer and she will probably not elbow you to make a snarky comment about the silly book the librarian is reading.
- Grandma has been there, done that when it comes to meeting other parents, and knows how to smooth over socially awkward situations. Recently, another mom and I were sitting next to the soft blocks after story time, looking back and forth between our babies and each other, struggling for something to say. A grandmother nearby picked up on this and immediately said just the right thing to get the conversation going again.
- Grandma says nice things about your baby. People who have just had their first baby or don’t have children at all often don’t know what to say to a new mom about her baby. Not so with Grandma! Grandmothers give great compliments on your baby’s clothes, eyes, and hair, and they always point out how your baby looks just like you. They never say weird things like, “Your baby grew” (because that’s obvious) or “Do you breastfeed?” (because that's personal.) They know what their own daughter would like to hear and they say those things to you.