At night time I am so tired that all I want is something to eat and to collapse into an unconscious state! If I am not quick enough to vet the goodnight story books I end up with a book that is thicker than War and Peace with at least twelve thousand words per page. These books are usually about some princess with Prince Drivel saving her and taking an eternity to muster up the courage to find the evil monster. All I keep thinking is “Come on man, get a grip, and get on with it, stop chatting to everyone and get on with it, we all have places to go!” Well as every single parent knows you can simply skip pages. Unfortunately this only works until they are three and is very short lived.
My little girl knows the books so well I freaked out, thinking I had a child genius, when she announced “I will read it to you.” I smiled thinking “This can only go wrong.” Yet she picked up the book and read it word for word! I was almost reaching for the iPad to record it and put it on YouTube ready to invite Mensa to watch the new Einstein. It was not until the next morning I realised how she was doing it. I was driving her to Granny’s and she said “Could I read the book to you again?” She was without the book yet she recited it word perfect. I realised she had memorised the book, which was still impressive, but after careful research not uncommon. Now the problems begin, because if she knows the books in her mind, when she gives me the Prince Drivel book I cannot skip pages. Bleary eyed she gives me the huge book, and I start paraphrasing. This goes down as well as a stinky nappy left in a car with the hot sun beating down on it for eight hours. You now start skipping a page, which again does not go well, and you are busted before the second word of the skipped page. Now if you cannot skip pages how can you get away with it? Well this has taken me a long time to master, but I have grasped the secret art of page skipping! In fact this skill is so powerful that even my wife doesn’t realise how I am doing it, yet I am through the bed time in record time! You have to start making everyone laugh, so I change the character names for funny ones so that while your wife and child are laughing, you can safely skip one or two pages whilst they are laughing. If they are not laughing then this stunt won’t work.
Story time should always be a time of dad bonding, and is vital to their education. Many happy dad times have been reading a book, and don’t always try to rush this event. These times are so short that each time should be seen as an opportunity to strengthening your child bond. Value the time and remember them when you talk to parents of older children. The ones whose children still look at them with eyes of delight are usually the ones who have taken the time to listen and spend time with their children. Spend time with your child now, before it’s too late!