My Favorite Children's Library

 Ugh. It’s raining—and it’s cold, too. There are few things that make me sicker to my stomach than knowing that I will be forced to entertain my toddler inside on a bad-weather day. Visions of Maisie dragging out every single toy, climbing to the top of the couch, and chasing our poor dog, Digby, for hours on end give me an instant headache.

That’s why I’m always on the lookout for things to do inside, out of the house. As it turns out, most libraries in Westchester have some sort of program, but there’s one very special library that I really love: The Huguenot Children’s Library in New Rochelle.

HCL is the only library exclusively for children in the entire county. It’s all in one room, which kind of makes me think of an old-time school. The shelves are lined with books perfect for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. There are lots of other things to entertain your tot, too, like a Lego table, a puzzle station, and a train set. And there are several computers, too.

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There also have various free programs for your little tykes: Music & Movement, Nursery Rhyme Time, Toddler Time, and Preschool Story Time. The programs go from 12 months of age to five years. The idea is for the kid to learn to be in a group—to learn to like story time. So if your little darling doesn’t do so well, nobody cares. It’s all part of the learning process. You can find the schedule on the New Rochelle Public Library website. Just be sure the schedule says HCL. Otherwise, the event is at the main library. Why do I know this? Because I busted my butt to get us there in time for an event that was happening at the other library. Typical.

At home, Maisie can’t get her fill of books. She will “read” book after book after book. Bed time consists of a full half-hour or more of turning pages over and over. At the library? She wouldn’t even look at a book. Instead, she took Legos – one by one – from the table to a chair and back again. She liked sitting in the Superman chairs and watching the older kids do the puzzles. The computer games were the real draw though. She actually climbed up in another mother’s lap so she could get a better look and eventually shoved her out of the chair so she could play the game herself. She loved that darn game. So it was only natural that when I decided it was time to go, she literally freaked out and threw a tantrum as only a toddler can.

The cool thing? Nobody in the library cared. Every parent there – including two dads – gave me an understanding smile. There was no reproachful look from the librarian or “Shush!” given. Hallelujah!

The funny thing? When we got home, all Maisie wanted to do was read. That kid cracks me up.

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