So, last night, we all finished dinner remarkably early and I was really looking forward to a nice family walk to the park. Except that the skies met my enthusiasm with a patch of lighting and the rolls of thunder that said to me “Uh-uh, sister.”

Thinking that we needed to get out of the house at least a little bit, I recommended a little visit to the library. I figured it would rain, but in the library that matters little. We had just settled in to playing with some foam blocks, having thwarted the overly aggressive attempts of a young girl to domineer the activity, when an announcement came over the PA: “There is a tornado watch in effect. We will keep you updated.” Papa Bird and I looked at one another and made a face, then a moment later we heard: “The tornado sirens are going off and we are going to move everyone to the basement.” Libraries have basements? Oh – but they do, and they are mighty impressive.

So we all shuffled down to the basement, and by we I mean about 50 adults and 75 or more children of varying ages. It was thankfully cool down there, but after the first 30 minutes it started to get a little toasty. There were so many things to look at that – had we not been under a moderately concerning tornado warning – I’d have been utterly delighted to poke around for hours. Old books, old toys, all sorts of holiday decorations. It was the megasized version of someone’s home basement.

Owl and Penguin responded remarkably well. I held Penguin for the first 20 minutes before my arms started to give out and then held Owl for the next 20 minutes or so. I was amusing him with my comedic interpretations of “One Potato, Two Potato,” and he was chuckling with utter amusement. So, I’m now available for infant birthday parties should you need low-cost, one-hit-wonder entertainment. Owl was so sleepy that he eventually fell asleep in my arms in a little, sweaty bundle. Penguin was fairly content to chatter through the whole experience, though at about the 45 minute mark, he’d had his fill. Which was fine since the storms had passed by and we are able to head home.

When I was pregnant with Owl, I was driving home from work one day last summer and there was an absolutely terrifying storm that hit as I was on the expressway. I got off the expressway at a nearby town and ran into the library, where all the patrons had sought cover in that library’s safe room. So, in a way, Owl and I are old hat at this.

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