Amanda Alley

I’m a mom, not a mathematician, but I do know that the chances having a manic Monday are extraordinarily high every week.

As a stay-at-home-mom of a toddler, I live for the weekends. My husband is around to help with diaper changes, fight the never-ending nap battles, tell our son for the millionth time that shoes are not for mouths. Then, in life’s cruel way, Monday morning jumps out of nowhere and knocks me right off of my feet, growling very much like my toddler does when I tell him he can’t lick the toilet bowl.

Mondays make me want to curl up on the couch and hide, whine about absolutely everything and nothing at the same time, and wish we had maids to clean, cook and make fresh cappuccinos all day. Then, I discovered something amazing: add Busboys and Poets’ Rise + Rhyme music shows on Monday mornings and my weeks begin with fewer tears (from me) and more smiles (from both of us). Busboys has cleverly figured out a foolproof formula for the Monday blues: open space for kids to dance and bang on some drums, plus delicious brunch (including gluten-free options!), multiplied by heavy pots of coffee and tea, equals lots of happy humans.

Perhaps the best part of this event, which runs from 9:30 to 11 a.m., is the artists themselves. They’re spunky, diverse, educational — and good. These are not colorful puppets squawking about the Hokey Pokey; they’re talented people with a genuine passion for creating a vibrant environment for children. There is Marsha Goodman, a cognitive neuroscientist, who will have you clapping your hands and tapping your feet to a tune about inertia, Jessica Smith with a fantastic performance celebrating African-American culture, and the popular Liz the Singing Lizard who calls her music “electro-kindie” and makes the hipster in all of us dance. Artists vary by week, but you will always be pleased. Performances are free but donations are very welcome.

If your little one is like mine and doesn’t let go of your neck when there are lots of other people around, then another good option is to head over to the Hyattsville library for a great story time. Probably one of the best things about story time is that there are different story times for all ages and vary by library branch. The Hyattsville branch hours are Monday at 10:15am for 9-23 month-olds and 11:00 for 2-3 year olds. There’s also a Spanish-English story time Saturdays at 11am (you can find the schedule, as well as story times at other branches, on the Prince George’s County Library website, It’s another enjoyable way to socialize with other parents, learn about new books, and spend a few hours out of the house. There’s dancing, reading stories together, hand clapping and animal noises. And, the part I look forward to the most: the bubble machine at the end. The librarian walks around and shoots bubbles around the room and you can’t help but want to run around and pop all of them. Even my super shy boy will walk two feet away from me and chase some bubbles. It’s liberating in so many ways.

So, next Monday when you wake up and feel that drop in your stomach when you realize there are five more days until the weekend, don’t fret. Between Rise + Rhyme and story time, you now have great antidotes for that case of the Mondays.

Amanda Alley moved to the Hyattsville area from Boston with her husband and young son a year ago. She earned her MFA in Poetry in 2011 and enjoys reading good poetry. She loves coffee, The Office and children’s literature