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Time with a toddler can be an exhausting string of activity. When you’re not decoding the cause for the latest tantrum, you’re plucking your child from the arm of the couch before he belly flops onto the cushions.

This past Friday I was watching my own crazed toddler, Emmett, in addition to two other children his age. Needless to say, my morning involved a mug of coffee gone cold and a maze of picking up toys, mopping up milk, and repeatedly reminding them to be gentle. By naptime, I was ready to snooze myself and couldn’t wait for a small window of quietness. Before I lulled them to sleep, however, I bravely tried to tackle story time.