This morning I peeked in on the boys in their room via the video monitor. If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I would have assumed it was the one and a half year old who did it, but no. It was my three year old who was sitting on his bed ripping strips of paper off of library book pages.
from library books.
Item one: Since OBrother has been in a big boy bed, we removed all paper-paged books from their room and replaced them with board books. This was mostly because I don’t trust a toddler alone with paper books, but apparently it’s a good rule for both him and the preschooler.
Item two: We were out on a date last night and were not here to enforce the paper-book thing. These were the books they read before bed.
Item three: We had just checked the books out from the library yesterday, after I paid a hefty late fee tab. O and most of them came from the “What’s new in Children’s Picture Books” display, of course.
Item four: OBoy was not being malicious. When I asked him why he ripped up the pages, he said he wanted them to be puppets. Classic imaginative play, exploring his surroundings.
Item five: The library isn’t open yet today so I’m not sure what the total cost to replace them will be, but much of it will be coming out of OBoy’s piggy bank… whether or not he’ll really understand that.
I am at something of a loss. This feels like a big teachable moment and I want to do it right. I want him to learn that this is not ok and to not do it again, but in an even bigger picture way, I want him to learn that we are fully responsible for our choices. So far I have told OBoy that we will talk with Daddy about what to do this afternoon. I have framed it in the terms of “making it right” with the library and with Mommy and Daddy.
I’m not really sure what that will mean, though.
Friends, what would you do and say if you caught your three year old shredding library books?
Help a mama out.