The library opens at 10 a.m.
I have to pick up Gal Smiley from kindergarten at 10:25 a.m.
It takes about 12 minutes to drive from the library to the school, plus a few extra minutes to buckle Little Miss Sunshine into and out of her car seat.
Thus, the Little Miss and I have perfected what I like to call, the Library Smash And Grab.
First, we arrive a minute or two before 10, and linger outside the locked doors. The second the librarian shows up with the keys — usually a minute or two late, I might add, like, lady, we are ON A SCHEDULE HERE — we rush in.
First stop, the holds shelf, where I pick up whatever is waiting for me. Elapsed time: one minute.
Second stop, the kids’ section. I pick one picture-book shelf and sit in front of it. I pull out several interesting titles and try to quickly identify two or three books with minimal words, for the Little Miss, and two or three with more words for Gal Smiley. Bonus if we can find anything involving sheep, ballerinas, bicycles, airplanes, or pirates. Elapsed time: four minutes.
Third stop, bigger kids area. This is a big section so I head straight for the P section, to pick up anything that is in by Dav Pilkey (the Captain is, somewhat appropriately, on a Captain Underpants kick). If I have an extra moment or two, I’ll pop over to S to see what’s in by Louis Sachar. Elapsed time: three minutes.
Fourth stop, Little Miss extraction. While I’ve been speed-browsing, the Little Miss has usually pulled out at least four or five board books from the baby bin and is settled into a table with 90% of her clothing removed. I have one minute to dress her and talk her out of taking home any titles that we already own at home (she’s drawn to the books she recognizes, and it’s hard to convince her that her own copy is still waiting in her bedroom). Usually we end up with at least one board book that she refuses to part with. Elapsed time: one minute. If I’m lucky.
Fifth stop, checkout. The library staff are amazingly quick. Usually the slowest part of the process is finding my library card. Then it’s bleep bleep bloop, and we’re done. Elapsed time: one minute.
Total library visit: 10 minutes. Off to pick up the Gal!