Retro parenting: The Library

Retro parenting: The Library

My mum phoned this week, with a slight note of accusation in her voice. “Was it true,” she wanted to know, “that my four year old had NEVER been to the library?”

Without ever mentioning it to me as a concern, the little ratbag had casually dropped me in it while helping his Nanny peel spuds for the roast the other weekend.

I confessed: He had not. Ever. We read books of course – three or four every night, and more now he’s at school. But no, we were not members of the library. I work part-time, I also have a frenetic 2 year old, wasn’t it just ANOTHER thing to risk damaging or losing?

I could tell my mother was less than impressed. And when I thought back to my admittedly fairly idyllic childhood, the weekly library visit was one of my favourite things (along with the weekly visit to the chippy post-swimming, I’m not an angel), so why had I never considered it?

Perhaps the answer is: I’m one of the lucky ones. Parenting has gifted me a lot of good friends and we tend to hang out at each other’s houses on our days off. I never had that period where I was so desperate to get out of the house and do something which wouldn’t cost me anything that I needed to turn to the library.

Nonetheless it made me think. My eldest was clearly keen to visit this exotic and mysterious (hah!) location. And it would be different to do. So off we duly toddled to our local library this week.

It wasn’t the smoothest trip. His friend legged it before registering, setting off all the anti-theft alarms. Meanwhile my boy immediately located a book about poo and started reading it shoutily at the top of his voice for the other library users to – errrm – enjoy.

But… BUT. He was SO excited. His own card! TWENTY books to borrow! (We eventually called a truce on six.) And a whizzy machine which read every book in the stack just by placing all of them on a black circle! Truly magic. And actually, we have enjoyed reading different things this week – some more grown-up offerings and some old Where’s Wally classics.

Will all twelve books make it back to the library intact before the three week cut off? Well, the jury’s out on that one. But we’ll certainly be back – and I suppose I grudgingly have both my mother and son to thank for this new family tradition.

Like this? You can read Sophie’s brilliant blog The Fear of Getting Pregnant is Real and for the latest from our writers, head to The Motherload® homepage

About Sophie Law

Sophie is a thirtysomething mum of two, a big eater of food and drinker of wine (of which her favourites are Kung Fu Girl Riesling and Chateau Musar, in case you were going to buy her a bottle for… you know… just being fabulous.

She lives 2 disappointing miles short of the Cotswolds with her husband and boys in a chaotic house of farts, fun and love.

When she’s not arsing around with writing, she is a radio presenter, producer and journalist and also a jobbing voiceover artist.


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Sophie Law

Sophie lives with her husband and two sons in a village six disappointing miles short of the Cotswolds. She’s a radio presenter, voiceover artist and lover of food, wine and shoes.

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