Saturday, August 21, 2010

Book Tantrums


I just renewed my library books online and it brought to mind a story my mom loves to tell. :)

When I was 4 & my sister was 5, my mom took us to the library. I don't remember this visit, but she tells me I fell in love. Books, books and more books. Everywhere I looked. I already loved books by that point and apparently couldn't get enough of the place.

So we got to the counter and the lady said my sister could have her very own library card. My sister. Just my sister.

Don't know if it's still the case, but back then the magic number to have your own card was 5. I was 4.

That would be when I had my first ever melt down. Total melt down. Sobbing, limp body, heels kicking the floor, full blown tantrum. My mom was mortified. Supposedly I was pretty much the happy-go-lucky, placid baby and kid - smiling & pleasant all the time.


Until I couldn't have a library card.

Can you see the library lady caving? She did. I got my card. :)

Not a great lesson for a kid. I think if it had been my kid I'd have refused the card. But neither my sister or I ever did this kind of thing & I don't think my mom had a clue how to handle it - she just wanted to get OUT! Can't say I blame her. Apparently I only ever had 1 other melt-down (over puppets - another story) in my childhood, so thankfully it didn't scar me, or teach me tantrums got me goodies. I seem to have turned out okay. :)

But I got my card! And I've visited that very same library every 3 or 4 weeks ever since then.

So how about you? Any book tantrums to share?

104 comments:

  1. My parents used to ground me from my books (while a pre-teen reading the Black Stallion series) and for awhile it was an effective punishment, but then I had to surgically remove the hold my parents had over me by going cold turkey and not reading for two years.

    Looking back, taking books away from kids really sends the wrong message. But, on the other hand, unlike you, I was a feisty, little monster when I was a kid. :)

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  2. Julie - that punishment would have sent me right over the deep end! But pre-teens being who they are I can completely understand your rebellion! Glad you got past it!

    I can't - even for a second - picture you as a monster! You're a complete sweetheart!!!

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  3. What a lovely story. A book nut from the beginning :-)
    I'll never try to keep a book away from you for fear of what might happen :-)

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  4. Al - yup - definitely a book nut from way back!

    So true - maybe that explains my lucky streak in winning books on blogs lately! :)

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  5. I don't think I was allowed to have temper tantrums...I was sent to my room a lot when I was a kid, which was fine with me. My books and my drawing pad were there and it was nice and quiet. Sending me to the family room would have been a much worse punishment. :)

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  6. I think I had that same tantrum last week.... Just kidding. I think it's an adorable story. I don't remember any meltdowns. Oh, I do remember my grandma was reading a book to me. Apparently it was a book she had read often, like a million bazillion times. She skipped over a page or two and I made her start over at the beginning, because THAT was NOT how the book went. If I was here, I would have said, "tough stuff" but she indulged me I guess. I miss Grandma. :)

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  7. I didn't learn about libraries until I was about seven. I took my oldest daughter when she was three and she's been a regular ever since.(Won't tell her age.LOL)
    I visit my library a couple of times a week at least.

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  8. Jemi, this was probably the first sign that you would grow up to be a writer. I bet that librarian knew that. :)

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  9. Nice story Jemi... as Al said..so you're a book nut from the beginning...hahah..
    but I wonder at age 4 have you already could read and write??
    I guess so...
    Thanks for sharing this lovely story wth us.

    hugs,
    nensa

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  10. I don't remember ever going to the library before I was about 8 or 9. My parents always had a lot of books around the house. I do recall a biographical book about W.C.Fields that my father had that used to fascinate me. When I was very young I drew some crayon "pictures" inside the covers and on the endsheets. I don't remember him getting mad, but I apparently learned not to do it again. That book used to fascinate me and I would often read parts of it as a kid. I would always look at my early drawings when I would open the book.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  11. Oh Yes I have a book tantrum which I'm very ashamed about, I had a ticket for the library since small and was always a regular visitor,
    One day the class at school visited the library and I chose the book I wanted only to be told by the teacher I couldn't have that one, it was an Enid Blyton Secret Seven book which I so loved to read. without further ado I pulled all the books off the shelf and went home.

    I did go back on the evening to apologise as the librarian knew me , she just laughed, I hated school but as I pointed out to the teacher it was MY library ticket not hers,

    I cringe now at the thought.

    Yvonne.

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  12. I think it's a great story, and I also think the librarian did the right thing by letting you have your own card. When someone loves books, that's not a thing to be discouraged!

    Let kids learn lessons about self-control over sweets and staying up late... not books!

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  13. I'm with India! If a child wants to read - don't deny them that! What a cute story, Jemi. :)

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  14. Sharon - that sounds a lot like me! I always loved drawing and reading too. Definitely not a rough punishment :)

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  15. Lisa - Grandma sounds great! We all need someone like that who indulges :)

    My kids always had the books memorized too when I read to them. I'd try changing the words up and they would giggle and say 'That's not the way it goes Mom!' So fun :)

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  16. Mary - there's nothing quite like the library is there? They really are magical places! :)

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  17. TK - she must have been a nice lady to bend the rules for us... or else she just wanted me to leave! :)

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  18. Nensa - thanks :) Definitely a book nut!

    I read pretty early. I had an older sister and was determined to do everything she could do. I wanted to keep up!

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  19. Arlee - that's a great story! Your dad must have known it was special to you and helped you understand. Very nice! I wonder if you still have the book - that would be a treasure!

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  20. Yvonne - that's a GREAT story! I wonder why the teacher didn't want you to have Enid Blyton! I read those books when I was a kid too - great stuff :)

    The librarian sounds like a great lady! She must understood how special books were to you!

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  21. India - great point! Books are so important. So many of my childhood memories are wrapped up in them. I learned the magic early and it never left me. :)

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  22. Thanks Talli! :)

    My first independent outing involved the library too. I remember my parents letting me walk all the way there and back by myself to get books. It was a few miles and I thought I was such a grown up!

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  23. That's funny.
    Our public library was too far away, so we rarely visited. But once I started going to school, I attacked the school library every week and brought home stacks.

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  24. Haha, that is the cutest story. You sound like a real bookworm, already at that age :)

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  25. That is the cutest tale!I don't think i'd mind if my son had a tantrum over not being allowed a library card :-)

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  26. funny! I was just in Chapters bookstore when I overheard a tantrum in the next isle. A young boy wanted the next two Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Mom was only going to buy one. I felt like whispering through the books shelf - "get it for him! How wonderful he wants to read!"

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  27. Diane - Our school didn't get a library until I was in grade 7. Then they mostly got nonfiction which I enjoy - but my love was always fiction :)

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  28. Cruella - bookworm is the perfect word for me - then and now! You should see my classroom - new students are always in awe when they walk in and see the books :)

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  29. Alexa - I guess it's not the worst thing to have a tantrum about :)

    I made sure my own kids got their own cards early - and at the same time!

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  30. Terry Lynn - exactly! I realize books are expensive, but if a kid WANTS to read, who are we to stop him? We should be jumping for joy! :)

    I have 2 or 3 copies of that whole series in my class - the kids LOVE it!

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  31. none lately, but i can remember my grandmother taking me to the public library when i was a kid. i can still remember the wonderful smell of books. i can remember the funny machine they used to check out our books. and i can still see the kids' section where i perused all those lovely books.

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  32. Michelle - I agree - the smell of the library is one of the best parts. Almost like coming home to a pot of pasta sauce bubbling away :)

    Our library has expanded the kids' section and it's got a wonderful reading area, lots of computers and tons and tons of fabulous books!

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  33. This is such a cute story :)

    I think in this instance, your mother was right not to deny you the pleasure.

    I'm like you - I fell in love the second I went to the library. My dad had to take me every single week, and each time, I would come home with an armload of books.

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  34. WN - thanks so much :)

    I think my mom wanted readers - she grew up without much access to books and was thrilled to have the library here.

    I've read so many library books over the years! I kinda wish I'd somehow kept track!

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  35. Not a book tantrum story, but an example of the inflexible rules they have, assuming that all kids are going to develop at the same time.

    During my eldest daughter's first year at school in the reception class at age 4. Every other afternoon she'd come out clutching a 'home reader' and pass it to her mum or I declaring "still no flipping words in it though."

    We had a quiet word with the teacher who tried to explain that for the first two or three months they sent home 'reading' books with only pictures in. It was, she tried to explain "so that you can discuss the pictures with her, talk about what's happening in them, to encourage her to read later."

    We explained that Natalie had been reading since she'd just turned 3.

    This made no difference to the reception teacher. Her response was: "Well, this will give the other children a chance to catch up then."

    Sometimes the system, and those that follow it blindly can be infuriating. I almost had a tantrum myself over that incident.

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  36. I think you might have a third tantrum if this library now took away your card.

    That was a cute story.

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  37. Dave - I can see why. I hope that kind of thing doesn't happen too often.

    As a teacher it breaks my heart that the learning wasn't differentiated for your little girl. It's so much more fun when we can 'hit the target' with each kid. Of course that's a pretty tough aim, but we try!

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  38. Helen - they wouldn't dare!! You're so right - it would be a tantrum of major proportions! :)

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  39. Alex - lol :)

    Maybe you were more the movie tantrum type? :)

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  40. Not tantrums--just a spanking 'cause I was reading a Beatles magazine when I was supposed to be sleeping--and of course such fodder was verboten for a Southern Baptist girl...

    LOVE this place...and from the looks of the posts, so does EVERYONE!!!
    Patti
    www.pattilacy.com/blog

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  41. Patti - thanks so much!

    That's so sad that you got punished for reading! I used to read under the covers with my flashlight all the time. :)

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  42. I too can remember going to the library with Mum and being told that I had to be 5 before I could have a ticket. I'm afraid I didn't have a tantrum and now feel that I let myself down in the 'passion about books' area of my life. Well done you for digging your heels in... literally.

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  43. I don't recall any book tantrums, but I do still have my first library card. It has my second grade signature on it and everything!

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  44. Rosalind - you crack me up! :)

    My mom loves to tell that story - because I really am an easy-going person more than 99.9% of the time. Really!

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  45. Stephanie - That is such a cool thing to keep! I remember our cards being blue with rounded corners. Now of course they're laminated and scanned :) But they still bring the same magic!

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  46. Unfortunately I grew up in a home where reading was not encouraged, and big word usage frowned upon. In order to bring something in the house (other than the Bible), I used to tell my mother it was required reading for school. These days I'm surrounded by books and love the written word.

    That love couldn't be squashed then and continues to grow now. (Hugs)Indigo

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  47. Indigo - that's so sad. I can't imagine not being encouraged to read!

    Kids are sure inventive though - you were smart to say it was for school. I'm so glad you found your own way! And I'm not in the least surprised you did!

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  48. This story is so cute! Cheers to that librarian for giving you your library card. If only all kids had tantrums over wonderful books!

    And yes I did have a similar meltdown when I was 4! I was a booklover, too, and I adored this little hardback book shaped like a house with little window cutouts and adorable illustrations. I think it was about a mouse family. The illustrations and shape of the book made it seem so real. I just loved it and had a complete meltdown when my parents' made me put it back. They were so surprised because I never had a meltdown over a toy before, they got it for me. And I never had an in-store meltdown again. There was just something about that book I had to have immediately, haha. I read and looked at it so many times it fell apart! :(

    I'm glad I'm not the only one with a story like that, lol!

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  49. Laura - I love it! Another book tantrumer! :)

    What a great story. And like my mom, your folks realized this wasn't going to be a continuing problem. I think they all just realized how important the books were to us!

    Yay - we're not alone!

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  50. Can't say I've had any book tantrums. Loved your story though. I did have a book crisis once though. I worked in a bookshop with a boss who insisted I transport a whole trolley of books to the shop. The only way to do this was via an escalator. Unfortunately, the books tipped over while I was on the escalator. I had a pile of them collecting at the top and more people getting on at the bottom, unaware there was no way off except through the mountain of books. I was a wee little thing. I tried my best to scramble all the books back together in time before the people and the books met, but I failed and it was messy.

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  51. Thanks Lynda :)

    Yikes! That would have been so stressful! Escalators cause a ton of mishaps it seems. I'd have been so stressed by the time I got it all sorted out!

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  52. No tantrums to speak of, unless you count the ones I have when the man points out my many stacks of books at home that I have yet to read. Then I pout more than throw a tantrum. :D

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  53. Hannah - now those are totally justifiable tantrums or pouts. We are obligated to have stacks and stacks of books waiting to be read. I do believe it is in the writer job description. :)

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  54. I learned to love reading at a very early age. I read my older brother's school books. I got into sooo much trouble for being able to read before I got to school.
    I remember progressing - like an addict - from the book corner, to the school library, then on to the town library. I read at least six books a week until I went to Uni. After that I read much fewer books for pleasure after I left home. ;)

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  55. Aww! So glad you got it. Hmm. Can't think of any book tantrums. I've had tantrums for other things, for sure ;o) My love of reading came later. I always liked it, but I really fell in love with it in 5th grade!


    Great post!

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  56. Of all places to have a tantrum, the library, who'da thunk it? Love it :)

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  57. Sometimes you do have to throw a tantrum to get what you want. And somethings are worth throwing tantrums for. A library card is definitely one of them.
    Great story.

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  58. Elaine - I hope most schools now let kids read where they are. Our board encourages differentiated instruction in reading and we try to have kids read books at the 'just right' level.

    I've always read for pleasure, can't imagine not doing it :)

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  59. Erica - how awesome that you can pinpoint the age when you started to love reading. I wonder if there was a special book that triggered it for you. Thanks :)

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  60. Cate - I think that was what floored my mom - I was normally this quiet kid and to have this crying spree in a quiet place was just bizarre :)

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  61. Rayna - so true! A library card is definitely worth a hissy-fit or two :) I'm glad it didn't backfire in any way!

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  62. LOL! That's great! As a mom, that would be a tantrum I wouldn't mind. :)

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  63. Jennifer - :)

    I guess as far as tantrums go, it could have been over something much less important! :)

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  64. When I was a kid, the late fee for an overdue book was a nickel, which was a lot of money. I had like a dollar of fees that I didn't want to pay. So I gave a sob story og my bike breaking down and I needed the money to spend on repairs, otherwise I couldn't ride to the library to get more books. So they waived the fees.

    Stephen Tremp

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  65. Stephen - You were a story-teller even then! That's so creative :) And most librarians just want the books back - I can't imagine they wanted to stop you from coming to read :) Thanks for sharing!

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  66. That is such a heart breaking story. I'm glad the lady caved.

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  67. What a fabulous story, Jemi! I have such vivid memories of the library where I grew up, every detail, right down to the tiles on the bathroom floor. As I recall, I waited patiently until age five for my first library card. But I'm the youngest of five kids, with siblings ranging from eight to twelve years older, so I was used to waiting. :)

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  68. I can picture the whole scene. Good for you! I'm not a mother who caves in to my children's tantrums, but I would've made an exception for that. I don't like these library arbitrary rules. I have a nephew who was told to read less non-fiction while my son's friend was told to read less fiction. Yes, the librarians actually wouldn't let them take out too many of one genre. And they live a town away from one another.

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  69. Thanks Holly - I'm glad she caved too! That card has always meant a lot to me :)

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  70. VR - that would entail a LOT of waiting! Wow. There was just my sister and I and we shared pretty much everything anyway :)

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  71. Theresa - I think that was my mom's thinking. It was something she wanted me to have too :)

    I can't believe those librarians tried to control what the kids were reading! That's nuts! I can see them maybe pointing out a new book they might like in a new genre, but limiting their choices? No way!

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  72. Well I have two daughters, and they are both essentially great kids, rarely misbehaving. But when they do ... they lose all privileges. Excpet reading. I know it can be entertaining, and quite fun, but I don't consider reading a privilege. I consider it a right.

    That is all. Thanks for sharing Jemi! Great story.

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  73. Matthew - Love it! I completely agree! Taking away reading would be horrific. I can't even imagine.

    You sound like a terrific dad Matthew - hope the girls realize how lucky they are :)

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  74. That is sooooo cute (kind of). Not the trantrum part...but the reason behind it. Why is there an age rule in the first place?

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  75. BTW Jemi, have you ever considered enabling your comments to be sent to your email? That way you can respond directly to people and they will be certain to see it (no offense but I can't always make it back to a particular blog that same day, so if you reply here I may not see it)? If you need help figuring out how to set that up just let me know. If you simply prefer not to do it that way that is your right (LOL) I know I'll still keep coming back either way!

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  76. DL - Thanks :)

    My mom likes to tell it as a not-so-cute moment in my past! But you're right - there's no reason to have an age limit!

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  77. Thanks Matthew :)

    I have considered it, but I have a few commentors who've mentioned they really, really don't want any more email. I don't want to burden anyone. I'm still considering it because everyone would see the comment that way, but I don't always make decisions quickly! Thanks for the offer - I'll let you know!

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  78. Sorry I'm late to this post -- but I love it! Too funny!

    I have a story... when I was about six, I borrowed one of Beverly Cleary's "Ramona" books from the library and fell in love with it. I absolutely refused to let my mom take it back. I still have it to this day, sitting on my bookshelf. The funny thing? There's a part in the story where Ramona gets attached to a library book -- so that's where I must have gotten the idea!

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  79. Shelley - thanks! :)

    You're a real-life Ramona! I love that story - I bet your mom ended up paying more than she would have at the book store :)

    I love that you still have the book - what a great memory!!!

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  80. Aw, sweet story! And funny! I'm glad they gave you your library card. (I'm the youngest in my family, too.)

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  81. Dawn - thanks :)

    Being the youngest, I think we figure we can/should do what the older ones do. Doesn't always work out very well! :)

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  82. Jemi that is the cutest story. I mean mind you, I don't approve of tantrums, screaming or people giving into little one's who are upset... but 4? You poor thing, all you wanted was to have the responsibility of your own library card. I'm glad she caved :)

    Look at you know :) You're a rockstar!

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  83. Thanks Jen :)

    I don't remember it at all, but my mom does like to drag it up every once in a while - and usually in interesting circumstances :)

    I'm so glad she caved too - not many things more important than my library card!

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  84. I don't know what the library's rule was, but when I was young my parents said I could get a library card when I could write my name in cursive. Boy was I proud that day!

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  85. Susan - what a great incentive to learn cursive! That way you could sign the card formally :) Your parents sound great. I'm not surprised you still remember that day!

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  86. I love this story! That's so funny. I got my three sons their own cards last summer, and it was the best thing. It's like a credit card for them! I love watching the stand in front of the machine and scan their own books, print out the receipts, etc.

    Your mom created great memories for you, and I'm sure you're passing them on!

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  87. :o) That's such a cute story, Jemi! I know my daughter has had her library card since she was two, so at least our library is more reasonable than yours was back then. LOL!

    I haven't had any book tantrums lately... but I think I'm due for one if Amazon doesn't deliver my copy of Mockinjay tomorrow! :o)

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  88. Very cool story! If I were the librarian I so would have caved too. Yikes! [As a parent I would have carted my kid outside, put them in the car, and gone back in a few days.]

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  89. Thanks Julie :)

    I love that your kids can scan their own books! We don't have that technology yet - the librarians still do it. So much fun for the kids :)

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  90. Jackee - I wish I'd been at your library! Although it wasn't a trauma for my kids so I'm sure my own one has changed since then :)

    There might be a few tantrums if the Mockingjay orders on time today!

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  91. Kimberly - exactly!!

    I think my poor mom was just so thrown she let it happen. Apparently this was the first time either my sister or I had done anything like that before!

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  92. So obviously you were destined to be either a writer or puppeteer. Good choice. :D BTW, the rule (at least where we are) is that you have to be able to "sign" your own name.

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  93. Lisa - :)

    My puppeteering skills leave a lot to be desired, so I guess it's gotta be the writing :)

    I like that rule - gives you something to aim for and if you can sign your name, you can take care of a book! Nice.

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  94. I love this story, Jemi. And that's exactly what I would do if someone tried to take away my library card today. I'd rather give up my driver's license than my library card. :)

    Patricia

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  95. Patricia - I'm in pretty much the same boat. Do NOT take away my library card! :)

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  96. Book tantrums? No.

    But take away my beer...

    - Eric

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  97. Eric - lol :) That sounds suspiciously like a few folks I know too!

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  98. Aw, lol, how nice of that library lady. I'm sure I had plenty of tantrums when I was younger, just can't remember any right now. :)

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  99. Kimberly - I know - she must have been a real sweetie! It's kind of nice that our memory lets us forget about those highly embarrassing moments :)

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  100. Jemi,
    Thanks for reminding me to renew my books online as they're due tomorrow! :)

    I think it's just the sign of a very interested reader who knew she wanted a card! Glad you got it! :)

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  101. Notes from Nadir - lol :) It's easy to forget those pesky due dates, isn't it?

    I'm glad I got it too - it's always been one of my favourite possessions :)

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  102. Ah yes, if you are going to have a tantrum, at least that was a worthy cause!

    Loved the Calvin pic! - reminds me, next time I visit my beloved local library, might pick me up some Calvin and Hobbes... it's been a while.

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  103. Margo - exactly! Books are always worth a hissy-fit or two :)

    I love Calvin & Hobbes - they always make me smile!

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