Monday, August 6, 2007

Book 'em

I’m kind of stumped. I don’t know what to do to keep Ladybug occupied.

We have our daily routine, and we try to get out of the house every couple of days. But you can only go to the Boardwalk, the duck pond and the art gallery park so much.

So I’ve been trying to come up with other things – things that don’t cost money – to do. We’ve taped computer paper to the dining room floor and scribbled. We’ve loaded and emptied the bottom rack of the dishwasher with plastic cups and plates. We even made bowling pins out of empty one-liter bottles of water by decorating our own labels with stickers.

But Ladybug needs friends. I’m cool, but she needs more interaction with other little people.

I vaguely remembered hearing something about a summer reading program for kids at the library and figured that would be a way for her to mingle without commitment. I looked it up online, found the toddler reading group that of course happened to be at the library the farthest away from where we live, and made plans to go.

I woke up early that morning, 6:30 a.m. to be exact. I never know from one day to the next how much time it will take to get Ladybug ready, so I like to build in a little cushion. We were ready to go by our scheduled departure time of 10 a.m., had the diaper bag filled with snacks and toys and a spare bottle. We would make it to the 11 a.m. reading, despite the 45-minute drive.

When we got there, there were no kids. How could that be?

“We stop the reading program in August,” the librarian explained.


I don’t know what I was more upset with, the fact that I had just spent four hours preparing for this outing or that Ladybug wouldn’t get to meet other kids. I think it was the latter.

“I’m sorry you drove so far,” the librarian said. “You could always stay and color.”

Color?! Color?! I didn’t drive 45 minutes to color!

But it was too late. Ladybug had already spotted the crayons – a big basket of them sitting next to a five-year-old girl surrounded by stuffed animals.

We ended up staying for more than an hour, and my crankiness faded with each toddler that wobbled in. Ladybug got to see something new, she got to mingle, she got to color with other people who also don’t know how to stay in the lines. And best of all, someone else got to pick up all the books she pulled off the shelves.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember wanting my kids to have other children to play with when I was a stay-at-home mom. I used to take them to Mike Woods Park in Bossier City. We went almost every single day. We would stay there until kids came. On average, we were there for 3 hours. I know that sounds excessive but my kids got to where they counted on it. I got used to the heat and cold temperatures.
Just go prepared with pails and shovels, lots of drinks, and extra clothes!

August 6, 2007 at 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's always weekly mom/kid meet-ups at churches -- look around or start calling. Or maybe those living in Shreveport can help you out with that. J and I went to one for a while when we lived in Virginia. It cost about $10 each visit and don't have to be a member of the church to join the group. It helped J a lot to be around other children.

August 6, 2007 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Michelle Mahfoufi said...

We're kind of new to the park scene. ; ) Where's Mike Woods Park?

August 7, 2007 at 6:31 AM  
Blogger Melissa Swanson said...

Mike Woods park is in South Bossier. You have to go into the Shady Grove neighborhood to get there.
Here's the directions:
-If you come over Jimmie Davis Bridge, take a left at Barksdale Blvd.
-Then, go about 2 miles until you get to Shady Grove Blvd. and take a right (this is at the intersection where the Chevron is)
-Go to the end of the road, through the 4-way stop sign, and take a right on Dennis St.
-The park is at the end of Dennis St.
It really is a great park. There is a small area for smaller kids and a larger area for bigger kids. I liked the larger area b/c my kids are a little older. In the larger area, there are covered, shady areas to sit. It's worth checking out.
I've also heard that the AC Steere park was nice.
I like the duck pond but it's way too sunny there!

August 7, 2007 at 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is a program for little ones at the library, it usually starts in September. You can call your local library to find out the time and day. Also call one of the book stores, they may have a reading hour, or something for little ones.
As long as you make it fun for her,it doesn't matter what you do.

August 7, 2007 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Michelle Mahfoufi said...

Thanks for the directions, Melissa. And as for reading programs at the library, I have the fall schedule sitting right here next to my computer!

August 8, 2007 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Foy said...

I belong to a great moms group at Even if you don't join it for the interactions with other moms...they do look for things to post to do. They talk about all the parks on there and the library. I love Broadmoore Library's reading program. They talk about the Gator Farm and Cypress Black Bayou has a petting zoo and park apparently. They are involved with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Charity..walks and car washes. There's a place called Bring Your Own Party that you pay $5 and your kid plays on a type of indoor playground with blocks and mats..and they even have a indoor jumping toy. It's for newborn to 36 months. It's called Mommy and Me (or Baby)'s certain times of the week. Tiny Town at the First Baptist Bossier is open to the public twice a week. It's a GREAT indoor playground for all ages. These are just some of the things they post to's a great group.

August 19, 2007 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Michelle Mahfoufi said...

Ginger, thanks for all the great ideas. We've been to Broadmoor and Gator and Friends but not the other things you mention. I'll check out that website. It sounds like a great resource.

August 20, 2007 at 6:22 AM  

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