Bedtime reading

One hobby I don’t do enough of is reading, at least reading anything that isn’t on a screen. Getting through BuzzFeed and Cracked articles is not exactly in the same league as reading Tolstoy or Steinbeck.

Yet I still read a lot of book, that is not a typo or bad grammar I just seem to read the same thing repeatedly. Anyone with a child will tell you repetition is an integral part of having a toddler. Life with a three-year-old seems to be full of the refrain “again”.

We really want to encourage our kids to appreciate books so they have plenty of them and a bedtime routine that allows for a story. To make sure they read plenty we have bought collections of tales for them to choose. We have the entire box sets of Mr Men and Little Miss, and a compendium of fairy tales. Many books with dinosaurs and a whole range of scatological themed rhymes, not forgetting the essential Dr Seuss. They have plenty to choose from.

Which is why it is frustrating to be rereading the same books for another night. The only positive point of rereading The Gingerbread Man, and spoilers here, is his inevitable doom at the hands of the fox (I wonder if this is the same fox who ‘assisted’ Chicken Licken, Loosey Goosey and co?). It’s a book full of repetition and to read it again and again, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man, is annoying.

It seems to have been the way ever since our progeny developed an opinion. To begin with, I could select whichever book I fancied. In this way I could read the 50 Mr Men series. I would have to fight a wriggle monster but I could still change up the story every night.

Not now. Now the chosen tale is selected by them. I learn that children are amazing, but they are not great with change. Once they have found something they love (In the Night Garden, Leggings, Chocolate) it will be their ‘go to’.

So as soon as a book hits the child’s emotional centre (like Les Miserables would if you were an adult) they put it on the limited rotation of approved texts. This is where The Gingerbread Man sits. It is the latest in a long line of Ten Little Fingers (Review: okay), The Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet (Awesome), and The Sailor Dog (Kill me if I have to read it again).

What all these books, and any I read with my children, do is more important than the story. It is the time I get to share with them I cherish. It is important to Me and Mrs G that our children share our love of reading, and I am happy that I can be part of this.

After I have read to them they are allowed to sit on the floor to ‘read’ the book by themselves. A-Rex can’t read but he is learning to retell stories, we can tell he will repeat back the cadence of the tale. If he doesn’t know the story, he can look at the pictures and make it up.

So I read to them time after time, it’s helping them learn. I love it when they look at me and say “again”.