Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Toy Library Lowdown

As I mentioned in my previous post, spring has started out with a rush in our house. We are juggling me in part-time work, Mr Fix It going away in the field, Turtle moving up into the toddler room at childcare, as well as (and this is probably the most painful part!) seemingly dropping her daytime nap.

This post comes to you because she finally crashed this afternoon, after much grumbling and a few major tantrums. That lead me to march her into her room determined not to leave unless she was asleep. Luckily it didn't take long to get her there.

So this is how I find myself sitting quietly at the computer in the afternoon for the first time in weeks. It is quite a luxury.

One of the best toys but I always have to put it in just the right way to fit it in the boot

I've decided a practical post on the toy library is needed to balance out the super positive one I wrote awhile ago. The timing seems right because I am noticing how many commitments I have since I've returned to work (hence the balls continuously flying through the air) and a couple of the toy library ones have, unfortunately, coincided with this time.

That is probably why I forgot I was rostered on for toy library duty at the end of August. I was so sure it was scheduled for the start of September. I checked the roster the afternoon I had missed it. Three hours too late.

The rostering officer took it pretty well. I felt (still feel) so terrible! I get the impression either no one showed up to exchange toys or no one complained because I notified the committee as soon as I realised and they didn't know. Telling myself that makes me feel slightly better anyhow.

So here are a few of the responsibilities that come with the bliss of borrowing toys every 2 weeks:
  • Our library has an annual membership of $70, which is pretty cheap when you think about how much a toy will cost brand new;
  • You can borrow toys for 2 weeks but there is a week of grace period so it's really 3 weeks (you just can't always take them for that long- aim for 2 weeks);
  • Missing items cost $2 each;
  • Searching for missing items probably costs around $20 of every members time every fortnight;
  • You have to volunteer your time for toy library duty (loaning out toys) twice a semester (or four times each year);
  • When you borrow big and clunky toys you have to get all Tetrus and squeeze them in your car;
  • Carrying toys and a baby can be quite the juggling act;
  • Puddles in the carpark can be a real problem when you have a toddler and your arms full of toys (a.k.a. Turtle sitting in one in her cloth nappy)
  • Our toy library does an annual fundraiser with a Bunnings sausage sizzle. I was unable to help out this year due to a death in the family but you are asked to do a 2 hour shift; and
  • Stocktake is coming up in the next month and I have managed to book our only weekend away on the same weekend. Luckily I can help out early and do some sorting of puzzles and costumes at home but it would be much easier if I didn't have to worry about it. I will go in for a couple of hours to help out.
So here is the lowdown on the reality of toy library membership. Overall I definitely think it is worth the effort.

Have you ever missed a rostered duty for a toy library or school event?

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