I think sometimes, my ideas – or wild imaginations – of what parenting will be like, have had to be reconciled with reality. Bed time stories is one of those times. I pictured children sitting docile while a book would be read from start to finish in a kind and patient tone. I imagined I’d do all the voices of all the characters and the children would think this was lovely. We’d laugh. We’d bond. And then we’d all go to sleep satisfied. What really happens? One guy crawls all over the pages, tries to eat the back of the book, someone asks questions every 2.5 seconds and is NEVER content with your answer (needing it to be clarified 85 times) and someone is sullen that this was not his first choice for book and why aren’t we reading his book first? When you eventually – maybe – get past the first page, one child is wanting to be the one to turn it and has their hand already grabbing at the side and then the other child is sobbing because it was actually her turn and he’s gone ahead and stolen it from her. She’s not satisfied that her turn would come again momentarily if she would just let you continue reading, she’s overtired and deeply wounded that you would let this trespass be committed against her under your very nose. Meanwhile the crawly one has left the book reading location and is now causing chaos that you can’t see and you have to try and semi listen to see if he’s still breathing while you continue “reading” because for all you know he’s run himself a bath or has scaled the kitchen benches and is playing with knives.
And this, in a nutshell, is why I let Errol read to the kids as much as possible, haha.