I’ve been reading to the bear since he was old enough to stay awake and smear drool over the cardboard pages.
It’s a huge part of our relationship. I associate it with happy times because:
- He will generally sit still (bar a bit of absent-minded twitching)
- I get to actually cuddle and kiss my whirling dervish of a 1st born
- I can relive GCSE drama and believe that I would have been wonderful actor (or at least CBeebies Bedtime story)
- It usually signals the end of a long day (which means it’s nearly time for me to go and ‘relax’ downstairs).
When the bear was an only child, I would often start the bed-time saga super early to get him to sit still and unplug. This meant I was sometimes reading up to 7 chuffing books a night. It is difficult to fill ‘the witching hour’ (that’s way longer than an hour). Needless to say, this all came to an abrupt end when a tiny mewling gumdrops burst forth. Our cosying up on the bed was punctuated with newborn tears, then toddler grabbing. After trialing a few placating scenarios, we now sit together on the bear’s bed and read a story for both before putting gumdrops to bed and secretly commencing a more ‘grown-up’ book for the bear and I. This is where the fun begins.
Two weeks ago the break through happened. Reaching for a big hard-back book that had very few pictures, expecting it to be rejected, I turned the page and ‘sold’ the story to him. I’d bought myself a few pages, it was all I needed. WE ARE READING ROALD DAHL!!!!!!! YES! 5 years and 4 months after he was yanked out’ the sun roof – we have found our groove. We have Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to thank for all this. Neither of us could wait to turn each page. He strokes the pages and visibly shakes with excitement and anticipation. I’m reliving my childhood memories of it (which may admittedly mostly be based around the Gene Wilder film!) and he is discovering his off-page imagination in real time. Boom.
3 of the bear’s favourite books 3-5 years:
- What the ladybird heard by Julia Donaldson
- Cops and Robbers by Allan Ahlberg
- The Pirate Cruncher by Jonny Duddle
- Featured image credit www.thefamilylife.us