Since our big Boy-child is nearly five, he’s recently graduated to reading chapter books instead of just picture books. Which is to say, we his staff now read a bigger book to him and deal with more frequent interruptions as he doesn’t have lots of pictures to examine while he’s listening to the story.
Last week I was rearranging a cupboard and found this:
My favourite book from my own childhood, given to me on my fifth Christmas according to the inscription! Boy-child was as enraptured as I was, and we began our wishing-chair adventures that very day, one chapter at a time before bed.
His father on the other hand, had not been exposed to the works of Enid Blyton in his youth. He had no fond memories of Mollie, Peter and their little pixie friend Chinky. That hasn’t stopped him enjoying the story in his own special way though. Every night at bedtime, I’ve heard a variation of the following from our kid’s room:
Boy-child: Read it properly tonight, Daddy!
Man-child: Of course I will, mate. The wishing-chair rose high into the air, carrying Peter and Stinky.
Boy-child: It’s CHINKY, Daddy.
Man-child: That’s what I said. “Home, wishing-chair!” shouted Stinky…
Boy-child: Grrrrrrr! CHINKYYYY!!
Man-child: (unduly amused at himself) That’s right! Stinky!
And so on. The poor kid is usually in such a mess by the end of the chapter that I need to go in and help him with some relaxation techniques before he can get to sleep. But at least his father reads to him, right??
After five nights of this, I decided it would be less stressful for all if I powered through the last couple of chapters with him myself before Daddy completely squashed his love of reading. We snuggled in for a read on the lounge.
Me: One morning, Mollie, Peter and Chinky were playing in the playroom, when –
Boy-child: Mum. It’s STINKY.
Oh, I give up.