Never be last.

My son and I attended storytime recently.

It was our first time.

We were running behind in usual fashion.

So when I flew into the library parking lot and saw a mom hurrying her son in, I knew it was go time.

I can be a very competitive person when it means avoiding last place.

Channeling Tyson Gay, I tucked my toddler under my arm and awkwardly hoofed in past my fellow dawdling latecomers, who let their little Einsteins forge their own routes to storytime.

Not my child. Not on my watch.

I carried, and sometimes dragged, my very advanced, intellectual, and independent-thinking toddler the entire way, because we just can’t be last.

We took the stairs.

Multiple flights of them.

I tried to take the stairs two at a time, while hoisting my sizeable toddler above my waist, which was an incredible coup because my husband accurately affirms that I couldn’t jump over a piece of paper on my best day.

Unfortunately, the other moms took the elevator.

We were last to arrive.

I was absolutely winded to say the least.

It may have been the cloud of dry shampoo that preceded me or the large sweat rings on the shirt I was pitting out, but in any event, at least 30 sets of eyes stared right through me.


Big smile. Shoulders back. Look alive. I reminded myself.

We made our way to the middle of the group because it was the only spot remaining, of course.

Being in the middle of everyone really wouldn’t have been much of a problem except my poor child didn’t know a single storytime song.

Instead, while all the other kids were sitting on the floor and bellowing nursery rhymes, my son proceeds to remain standing, in the middle of everyone, with this stoic, perplexed and mostly judgmental, look on his face.

It felt like hours passed as this child of mine stood gawking at the other kids who continued singing about ducks, cows, or opening and shutting their hands.

My sweet son. It’s not your fault.

To make matters worse, his jeans were sagging–so the entire time that he’s standing like a weirdo, we’re all staring at his hiney.

Top form.

Please give it up for mom of the year over here.

There really is a learning curve to all of this.

And I’m going to be better.

But this is exactly why you should teach your kids to never be last.

And teach them a few nursery rhymes while you’re at it.



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