My daughter, Tansy, is volunteering at our local library again this Summer.
Yesterday she was at the library signing kids up for the Summer Reading Program. I am not exactly sure how the program works, but it is something like:
-A kid signs up to read.
-The kid decides how many minutes they will read each day.
-As they complete their goal for the day, they check off a box.
-They kid earns a prize for so many boxes that were checked.
This is all fine and good… until younger brothers get signed up to participate.
…Did I fail to mention that they didn’t sign themselves up, but rather their older sister signed them up on her own; also deciding how much time that her brothers should read each day.
(And the library fascist was born.)
Yes, Tansy, I am sure with enthusiastic and well meaning intention signed her brothers up. Both Becket (10) and Andrew (4) were okay with participating in the program (actually I think Andrew still has no clue that he is in it.) But it was the time allotment assigned to Becket, by his sister, that sparked the appearance of the library fascist.
Just a bit of background:
Now 40 minutes a day does not seem like too much to ask– a little reading here and there and whammo the days goal is done. But in thinking about Becket and the fact that it will be Summer, the goal is not very likely. As a parent I would love to see my child do some reading during the Summer. But as a parent I know that his goals for each day will be: To ride his bike. To ride his skateboard. To design future roller coasters (I should share about this sometime.) To hang out with his buddies. To do his around the house job (I am sure with parental encouragement.) To swim. And other amusements that fill the Summer day of a 10 year old boy. –You may have noticed “reading” was not on the voluntary to-do list.
Well, Becket wanted the number of minutes expected each day to be decreased (which I understood.) This desire for a change in minutes was greeted by tears from his older sister at the dinner table…. “He can do it” Tansy exclaimed. As my wife and I tried to help her understand she again cried, “He is not making this fun for me.” I do not know if she saw this as an attack on her predetermined goal for he sibling, or that the changing his daily reading time was a reflection on her or what… but apparently she took it personally.
Well we did finally get her calmed down; not that she was happy with what was going on –I am still not really sure what the whole problem was….
But she also made it apparent that the war was not over as she stated, “I am taking a shower first…” meaning before Becket took his. And then she gave insight into why she wanted the first shower, “And I am going to use all of the hot water.”
Becket snuck in and took his shower first.
Tansy was upset by that too.