Story Time About Story Time

We are officially out of lockdown! Goodbye winter quarantine, hello spring!

So in celebration of being able to leave our house,  I decided to take Scarlette to the 0-2 Story Time at our local library. Support your local library, amen.

My child loves reading, as evidenced by the photos above. I mean, you saw the cutest video in the world, right? And if not, don’t tell me that you skipped watching a video of my baby. I prefer to remain under the impression that everyone finds her as irresistibly cute and charming as I do.

Since she is all about books and loves it when we read to her, I naturally assumed that she would love it when other people read to her and thus, would love story time.

The first rule of  parenting? Never assume anything. Rookie mistake, y’all. Rookie mistake.

The thing is, here’s the thing: while she really does love listening to people read to her, it turns out that she loves attacking other children more.

She saw the other children sitting so nicely on the circle rug, all criss cross applesauce with their listening ears perked to hear a tale about bunny rabbits and she was like “OTHER BABIES! MUST! GRAB! ALL! THE! OTHER! BABIES!”

And as I gently restrained her from launching herself at the them, she threw herself on the floor and began what I like to call ” Scarlette’s First Meltdown In Public.”

Never having really been in public with Scarlette, I was completely unprepared to handle this situation.

I mean, I’ve pictured that moment in my head. The one where she loses it and I calmly and swiftly resolve the situation while the other mothers glance at one another and nod their approval, in silent agreement that I am a fantastic mother and obviously they should invite me to join their play group.

In real life, however,  it went down like this: “Holy crap my child has never thrown a fit like this before. I have no idea what to do. Should I take her out? Do I leave all my stuff? Where do I go, the library is not really all that big? OMG is she seriously kicking her feet right now? I really need to do something because I feel like an idiot. I’ll just start handing her random things out of her diaper bag. Crap, I was not expecting that other little kid to take her teething ring away from her. I have no idea what the social protocol is here. Do I just take it back? I’m going to just take it back. Great, now the other little kid is digging in my diaper bag for Scarlette’s snacks. Oh, crumb. Why are libraries so flipping quiet? That is only making my kid’s screaming sound even louder. I vote we all start talking in libraries. Not talking in the library is a stupid rule. Good, they turned on some music. She likes music. Yay, let’s clap! WHY IS SHE STILL CRYING?! This is not how I pictured story time. Maybe if I let her go she will calm down. Okay, letting her go was a terrible idea. How long is story time anyways?”

Then the story time lady handed Scarlette a sticker, which she promptly set about trying to eat and that occupied her through the next round of The Wheels On The Bus.

After that we attempted making a bunny rabbit craft and by attempted I mean I handed Scarlette the paintbrush and she repeatedly threw it in the floor. There is a one eyed, one legged bunny hanging on our fridge.

And that is the story of our first visit to story time.

Tune in next week for another episode of Motherhood: I Have No Idea What I’m Doing.  ;)


  1. Leah says

    I think the biggest lesson about taking a toddler out of the house is that you have to teach them how to do it. My kids (5 and 2) are angels in the grocery store – NOW – but it’s only because I’ve been dragging them there once a week since my oldest was a few weeks old. And even at this age, don’t underestimate the power of coaching. Again, beginning when my oldest was a baby I’d tell her where we were going and what she could expect when we got there. Just some thoughts. I enjoy your blog. Have been following since Scarlette was born. So happy for you that you got to take your baby to the library!!!! It’s a day we’ve been waiting a long time for!!!

  2. Sharon Osborn says

    …clearly she was just marking her territory! Having been there myself, I totally have your back! Just keep taking her, and as Leah said above, talk to her about your expectations. Eventually she will be sitting “criss-cross your applesauce”, and you will be giving the stink eye to another new comer’s mommy :)

  3. Mary says

    aww Kayla you will figure it out and so will Scarlette. Adjusting to a social environment that involves more than mommy and daddy on a regular basis is a process, it won’t happen overnight. You know I still am trying to figure out the meltdown thing in public and it is hard because every situation is different. After so many years of tears and stares when it happens with Madison I just quietly pack up her stuff and get her out, and then try again another day. After awhile you will figure what types of social activities are on her list and which ones aren’t.

  4. Alyssa says

    My son (22 months) does that EVERY time!!! Don’t worry about it! Scarlette is just exploring her new environment. Those moms should have helped you, not stared you down. If you want a playgroup, visit this website:
    They have groups in almost every city and you will make tons of friends!

  5. ana roat says

    Oh my stars!!!! I survived and so will you. My daughter Rebekah threw down a pillow in preparation of her well planned “tizzie-fit” — unfortunately she missed the pillow when she launched her little body down and planted it face first into the carpet. I had to leave the room….then I had a meltdown when I found my little dude Pete peeing on our truck tire in the front yard…I think the neighbors are still talking about it…

    Rebekah is now playing mommy to a beautiful little princess named Reagan (10 months) and Pete and his gal are thinking about 3 little ones in their future!

    Thank you Father God that Scarlette is here and healthy and rearing to go!


  6. says

    Not that this will make it any better, but don’t worry. The rookie mistakes never go away ’cause children are always throwing curveballs! My oldest is 8, and I still have no idea what I’m doing! When she was two, she threw a HUGE fit in a store. I put her kicking and screaming little body in the cart…where she started yelling “HELP ME! HELP ME!”

    Everyone looked at me like I was some random kidnapper stealing a precious, trantrum-throwing child! I refused to leave the store without getting my groceries. So, instead, I finished my shopping and watched as the entire store texted and tweeted images of me and my daughter…just in case I were to show up on the local news!

    Good luck! It’ll get easier!

  7. says

    Hilarious. Although, I’m sure it wasn’t very hilarious at the time. She’ll get there, don’t worry. Also, you seem like a pretty fantastic mother :)

  8. says

    Oh my, this post made me crack up out loud. I did go to storytime at my local library with my boys and this brought back so many memories. My boys have grown into teens but I remember it like it was last week! Keep going, it’s worth it!!

  9. says

    This is hilarious, mostly because I have been there. I never know what to do when other kids start pawing at my stuff. Just sit there? Take it? It doesn’t help that I’m socially awkward anyway around strangers let alone while trying to discipline my child.

    Plus, I get way too involved in craft time so he would just there while I poured glitter on everything. :) Scarlette is soo cute.

  10. Kara Williams says

    Oh Kayla… thank you for the giggles… That precious angel and you will make it through this, and be better for it all. This brings to mind my Delaney’s episode (who is now 4 1/2) when she was 3. We were at an appointment where I had to pay close attention to what the nurse was telling us. Mind you, this was only a year after we were let out of quarantine for her heart condition. She proceeded to pull the nurse’s phone off the wall, pull papers out of a cupboard, climb up on and break a bookshelf then lick the door knobs. That’s right… I said LICK the door knobs. My baby, who couldn’t have strangers even breathe in her general direction for 2 years was now licking random door knobs at a doctor’s office. All of this with her newborn sister in a carrier sitting on the floor next to me. Not sure what happened that day, obviously not a a good example of good parenting. I cried all the way home, so did the girls… and, we have all survived until the next episode. Praying for your sanity :)

  11. Stephanie says

    Gosh, my four babies never did anything like this. Ever. NEVER.

    Can you tell I’m lying through my teeth? LOL

    Y’all will find your feet and figure it out. Guaranteed. :)

  12. Amy B. says

    Ah, story time. We all have a Library Story Time story. Mine ends with my youngest who was four years old bawling all the way home saying “I want Jesus to give me a new mommy.”

    Fun times.

    Give her another chance. Try easing her into it and maybe sitting toward the back of the group so you can do a quick exit. Bring your smallest diaper bag and no purse to make the getaway a clean one. ;)

  13. Aslake says

    Great story, and I feel you pain. It is horrible when that feeling of becoming the people with the screaming kid that you’d sworn you’d never be really sets in…but I’m sure the other mothers were cringing for you remembering the times with their kids! Mine is 14 mos, and if she’s to that point the only thing that works is whipping out a tata…since I’m not one to do that in public I’ll keep the library off our things to do list for awhile!

  14. says

    Seriously funny! Hang in there, it will get better! Wait until it happens at a venue that is not a group of other mommies! I just love getting the “stank eye” from those lovely ladies (who obviously raised perfect children) that frequent Target, grocery stores, and other such public places. It’s just part of it and makes for great stories!

  15. Angie Schmitt says

    Hilarious! Any (honest) mom will tell you that they have been there. I know I have. In fact, my otherwise sweet-as-can-be 3 year old threw the mother of all fits in Target yesterday. She did time out right then and there in the boys section. It wasn’t a stellar mother moment and I had that panicky, “Everyone is looking at me,” feeling. I am a mom of two and I still dont know what I’m doing, I’m just more comfortable with winging it.

    As long as Scarlette knows that she is fiercely loved, it’s ok to let the everyday mommy mistakes and insecurities fall away.

    • says

      At least you made her do time out! Once, a child spit on me while I was walking through Target and the mom did nothing about it. I almost put her kid in time out FOR her. I was all “it takes a village lady, it takes a village” :)

  16. Mymie says

    Congratulations to little Miss Scarlette! The out of quarantine part, not the fit at storytime part. But think of her when she was born compared to the little spirited person she is now and maybe you’ll see that moment as brilliant after all!

  17. says

    Our first melt-down was in a grocery store in China getting stared at by hundreds of Chinese people who probably thought we had just abducted this poor child from the way she was carrying on…I plastered a smile on my face while trying to put on the appearance that I knew what I was doing while I actually had no clue, we had only been parents for 24 hours and for some twisted reason thought we would make it back to US soil before this happened. 1 bag of shrimp flavored chips and 10 minutes later it was all over and we gave the many witnesses at the store a story to tell when they got home that day :) Congrats on being out of lockdown!!!

    • says

      That is fantastic. I imagine the other story time mothers were silently clicking their tongues and telling their spouses about that teenage girl who brought her unruly child to story time…

  18. says

    This made me smile only because I’ve been there just recently and it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I’m relatively new to following your blog but I have to tell you that I find your writing fun and you are such and inspiration with all you’ve had to go through with Scarlette.

  19. says

    Kayla – you are brilliant! And, as the mother of three grown people, I can assure you that you are the BEST mother because you have the most CRITICAL gift – your sense of humor. It’ll get you through it all. Trust me. God Bless!

  20. Beth says

    I love how you turn a stressful situation into a funny story for all of us!! This could have been a totally different read if you had melted down and complained, instead you found the silver lining and shared something we can all relate to! Thanks for your wit and humor! Can’t wait to read more!

  21. robin troxell says

    the picture on the right is PERFECTION.

    and i love the library story. I usually feel like the only mom in public whose children were apparently raised by wild bears.

  22. says

    Oh my word! This takes me back 20 yrs to when mine was throwing fits in public places – you just want the ground to open up and swallow you in. Theres an old tv advert here in the UK where a mom is with her young son in the supermarket and he throws himself on the floor kicking and screaming when she says no to something he wants. What does she do? She throws herself on the floor kicking and screaming – he stops in his tracks, staring at her, shocked! She stands up,brushes herself down, looks at him and says “Okay?” and he stands up, nods ‘yes’ and away they go shopping – it’s fabulous! Kayla you could always try that LOL. No, I’m only kidding!

    It’s wonderful news that Scarlette’s out of quarantine, but she is now on the steep learning curive of ‘socialising’ – ooooooh what a joysome lesson! Us moms loath it LOL, but you’ll get there in the end.

    As mine got a little older I used to say “If you carry on, you won’t have …..(their favourite thing of the moment)…when you get home”. I stuck to my guns, kept that item back for a little while that day. Next time a hissy fit was thrown it would be “Remember last time?….” and gradually the lesson was learned. We laugh about it now because it was Power Rangers stickers at the time!! Good times LOL. You’ll look back in years to come and laugh too.

    At the time I had no idea if this strategy would work, I just hoped it would. Keep going with your gut instinct (mother’s instinct, yeah?) and you’ll do fine too.
    Ellie Maggie x

  23. Kirsten J says

    Oh I am so happy you get to experience what so many mama’s do! I shared this with my friend who also had a micro premie (at her daughter Kendall’s 13th birthday party, btw!!) and she could soooo relate. I get that quarantine is a whole other world. Just keep trying!

  24. Melissa says

    Oh my goodness! I can’t help but laugh! I jsu found your blog last week. My daughter Hadley is 12 days younger than Scarlett and I’ve had so many of the same experiences. This week Hadley decided she didn’t want to do any of the activities at swimming lessons and instead just say “NO” and cry saying “hugs?!” the whole time. I love reading about your beautiful funny girl!

  25. says

    Hahaha! Oh yes, I break down into repeating “Hey buddy…hey buddy…what’s wrong?” when Liam does that. I am forever grateful to the total strangers talk to him mid-fit…my child prefers people we don’t know in those moments.


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