On Wednesday night after Kevin got out of class, we headed back down to the beach to walk the path alongside to beach front homes. Many were stunning! Others, you could tell the property was most likely held through multiple generations and was not going to be sold so that a new monstrosity of a home could be built.
When we parked at the library garage that evening, I knew what Lily and I were going to do the next day. Lily has only been to the library once. It's difficult to get her to understand that we can't just pull books off the shelves, that we have to be quiet, and we don't run.
The library was standard. An older giant square room with four walls. To me, it didn't seem to fit the rest of the upscale, slightly hoity-toity town. But it was clean, the staff friendly, and very well designed for children. There were two large rugs to define reading areas, a nook with puzzles and blocks, two computers set aside for children's games, and three tables for projects.
We spent just a little bit of time reading. Although Lily loves books and stories, there was way too much to explore for her to stay in one place. We found a section of Curious George books, a current favorite, and she was occupied through almost three books. We also found a Cars book featuring Tow-Mater, but it was a little long for her liking.
We found to toy corner with blocks and puzzles, not because she was interested in the toys, but because she is fascinated with other children. Unfortunately, they weren't really interested in her.
But the crayons and the Minnie Mouse coloring page was her favorite. I tried to get her to color with two at a time, but when she started screaming, I relented; I couldn't really pull a screaming time out in the middle of the silent library. Parenting fail. She pulled all of crayons out of the basket. But she was occupied and at least she was was practicing her counting. Insisting she needed all of the crayons, she attempted to color around the crayons that covered her paper. However, when she decided she was ready to change activities, I reminded her we needed to clean up first. That stubborn little girl began to scream and as I tried to quickly pick up all of the crayons and whisk her outside to "discuss" how we play and clean up, I spilled the basket on the floor and whacked my elbow really hard. Meanwhile, she throws herself down, being careful not to hit her head, and continues to scream. I finally get her outside, we discuss and repeat that we have to clean up and she repeats over and over "no screaming." I guess this week at home we will be practicing picking up. Sigh. Tears were dried and we went back inside once more for one more short puzzle.
We walked around the library fountains while eating our snack before we headed down to the beach. We walked in the sand, and she thought it was fun. However, when I put her toes in the water, she practically climbed up my legs to get away from the wave. She hated the water. She clung tight while we were near the waves.
Once we left the shore line she walked for quite a while in the sand.
She has always like the dirt. Water? Not so much.
At home, I am used to seeing other stay-at-home moms when we do our shopping at activities. What struck me as interesting in Manhattan Beach were the number of nannies I found at the park and the library. I realized the first woman at the park was a nanny when she kept referring to herself as Miss. So-and-so to the child. The second woman could have been a grandmother, but if she was, from what I gathered, she watched the child daily, and had a weekly routine of parks and activities, and she greeted the other nanny with familiarity. But then at the library there were two more! It was just an interesting observation. The other thing that I hardly ever see out here in the Inland Empire were the professional dog walkers! One woman had 8 well behaved pooches attached to her "walking belt." Between nannies, dog walkers, dozens of evening runners, the oodles of very expensive cars, and the giant beach front properties, I had a a mini-culture shock.