- Gareth Ellis
Reading to the kids, on your own
Hands up, how many parents out there, even non-parents have ever played with their/a child’s toys or eaten their food?
I have to admit that sometimes I’ve had a little taste of Rupert’s yoghurt, or some other tasty dinner we’ve made him and he’s not eaten. Then, of course, I justify it by saying that it was going to go to waste anyway. Well, it was, right?
There are also, so many of Ru’s toys that I’ve shown more interest in than him and on more than one occasion I have built an amazing tower using his blocks only to watch him knock it straight over. Out loud I’ll say ‘Oh no, you knocked it down.’ But inside I’m secretly gutted.
I think when you become a parent, or even when you’re just around children, you do just naturally bring out a bit more of your childish side. For example, I know that all of Rupert and Emilia’s grandparents get down on the floor to play and even enjoy a good old fashioned rumble (with Rupert at the moment, obviously Emi is still too small.)
I’ve noticed recently that this ‘sharing’ extends beautifully over to television and books too. For example, on more than one occasion I’ve carried on watching Hey Duggee! when Rupert has gone off to play with something else, because I wanted to see how it ended. In the last few days I’ve also tried to introduce him to my ‘go to when I’ve had a bad day’ film – Monsters Inc. while holding on to his cuddly Sulley too. Overkill? No, definitely not.
On the book front, how many people are familiar with the story of The Gruffalo? I won’t include any spoilers for those who aren’t, but up until a few days ago I hadn’t made it all the way through – Rupert gets bored and pushes the books closed sometimes.
So I thought, you know what, I’m going to take this book and read it to myself, I need to know how it ends. So I finished putting Rupert to bed and I took The Gruffalo into our room and carried on reading – it’s actually a really good book.
I then got downstairs and Jess asked why I’d been so long. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I’d taken Rupert’s book and finished reading it because I wanted to know how it finished.
In my defence, I need to know what happens in a book so that I can apply the right voices to the characters and the right intonation as I’m reading it to Rupert.
At least, that’s what I tell myself.
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