A post about books – why, it must be Christmas!

Have you been good all year? Have you been really good? Well, here’s a post about books, lest you forget it’s why we’re all here!

Following this blog must be rather like one of my very actual friends who occasionally are the recipients of hastily bashed-out, mispelled predictive-text replies at odd hours of the day or night, some weeks after they made contact.

I’m starting to realise that, with young kids and probably with older ones too, just when you think you’ve got it down, things career off in a different direction. As I never shut up about, Monkey-face’s been in full-time childcare since she was 4 months old and so I mistakenly thought “she’ll be fine when she starts pre-school.” However, since she started, almost four weeks ago, she wants to sleep all of the time and comes home grumpy and frustrated – essentially overtired. In truth we are hardly seeing her. It’s great she’s being stimulated, but it is a little sad and challenging that the time we spend together is often fighting off her exhausted rages, administering time-out and then and then sending her to bed almost as soon as she’s home. I’ve a pile of books that she received for her birthday and it’s proving hard to find the time to read these with her. Although she is reading at nursery and with her childminder. I’m sure our prime minister would not approve.

I was determined to grab her almost the minute she walked in the door, last night and read some Christmas themed books with her, such as Father Christmas needs a Wee by Nicholas Allen. It’s an amusing little book with counting rhymes and an increasingly desperate Father Christmas incapacitated by the generosity of all those houses on Christmas Eve. We also read Usborne Books’ Farmyard Tales Christmas, one of her childminder’s books that she loved so much she used to ask to bring it home with her until I bought her her own copy. In MF’s eyes, it’s less about the story and more about the race to find the tiny kitten and tiny duckling on every page. She likes to win.

Which is a shame really because, whilst I like to win too, I’m not very good at it. I have no idea when I’m going to find any time to take her to see the lights in town, do Christmas baking with her or see Father Christmas. There’s a Santa’s Grotto in Dulwich Village but it’s £18 pounds a child and £5 per adult! What the hell is Santa being paid an hour?   I will never, ever find out, but no doubt Dulwich kids get their very own gold-plated reindeer from Santa. The Grotto at the Horniman Museum is fully booked too. Thwarted once again by all of those very glossy, very organised Dulwich mothers who no doubt caused the BT phone exchange to meltdown when booking for the grotto opened in October. Not for them the realisation on December 5th that we probably ought to get around to seeing Santa. I just cannot face the queues in town. DAMNATION.

Anyway, many hours later, she’s fast asleep still clutching the Usborne book, which is about the only time we get some winning done around here. Buckle up, it’s Chrrrrrrrisssssttttmaassssss.


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