"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Even the Library is Not Safe

Princess wants a library card. Not that she's told me with, you know, words, per se, but we moms, we pick up on such subtleties.

The burning desire started with a Daisy Girl Scout trip. I'm not sure why, as Buddy has been in possession of a library card for three years, but there it is. It started on a Daisy Girl Scout tour of the library. When I picked her up, she excitedly announced that children could actually own and use a library card. I responded out loud with, "oh; that's sure interesting," and inwardly with, "crap. Here we go."

Today we made our first summer pilgrimage to the library. Buddy dug out his library card, as is fitting for the first summer pilgrimage to the library. After returning our books, three of my four children stampeded back to the childrens' library. I hung out at the front desk for a while signing up for summer activities and discussing the reading program and Bandz with the librarian. Princesses hung out with her chin on the counter the entire time. Wanting to be close to Mom? Perhaps. Hoping to be offered a library card by a non-Mom adult? Much, much more likely.

I suspect Princess is at least as tuned-in to me as I am to her. I imagine she hasn't actually asked me for a library card because she guesses that I  would rather strangle myself  have concerns.

Concern #1: I would say, "Princess, a library card is a privilege AND a responsibility. One of the responsibilities is knowing where your books are on Library Day. What is your plan for knowing where they are?" And she would have a plan. She would say she will keep them in one of the two places we keep library books. Which would be great. Except she won't.

Concern #2: I would say, "In the event that you do NOT know where your books are on Library Day, you will have to pay a fine. A "fine" is money you pay for keeping the books longer than you agreed, thereby inconveniencing someone else. How would you pay a fine?"

And that is the real problem. Princess was given an allowance when she turned five. Which I retracted when it became painfully clear she had no concept of money, buying, or owning things. It was not as mean as it sounds. Really. Then I re-worked the system and gave her a smaller allowance and restricted what she could buy with it. It worked really well, and she even made gains in her understanding. However, as she got older but the raging did not lessen (much), an allowance actually became less age-appropriate for her, if you can imagine. So a few months ago I stopped her allowance and put what money she had on hold. I explained that we needed to save that money in case we needed to replace her door or her bed- a legitimate concern- and that she could let us know she was ready for money choices again when she could be angry without kicking her door, throwing her sisters' toys, or lifting the top bunk actually off the bottom bunk with her feet.

I know she understands this, because although her rages have lessened significantly and she is doing very well at controlling her temper, she still throws a rage exactly once a week. Just enough to let us know she's not ready for money. I am not kidding. I am almost positive it's staged for that purpose.

So, I don't see how she can have a library card until she can handle an allowance

I guess it's just as well she hasn't asked.


  1. Sounds like money and libraries are both in trouble

  2. I am getting the girls their first library cards this summer. My fear is myself and my husband. We both have been historically awful about library book and find it cheaper just to buy the books outright in the first place over the $40 fines.

  3. we have them, I hold them and when we do not get to the libary on time it is usually my fault. I hear you on the allowance thing too!