Yesterday I thrilled the Monkeyface. Yeah, you heard me. I bought her some more of the Oliver Jeffers picture book she’s been doing some low level hinting about for a week or two. Every time we read The Way Back Home she commented on all of his books that were pictured on the back cover: “got dat one, got dat one, haven’t got DAT one mummy…” followed by a look that I think was supposed to be slightly accusing.
Anyway, last night we took delivery of a number of books: How not to F**k them Up and Affluenza by Oliver James (for me, obviously) and Stuck, How to Catch a Star and Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers. The only book by someone not called Oliver was Neil Gaiman’s first children’s picture-book called Chu’s Day. To demonstrate how much of a hit these were, I can report that they actually stayed her three year old hand. I didn’t get headbutted, kicked or hit once! And as I took them from the non-tax-paying company’s delivery box, I was stunned by her knowing “that’s called How To Catch a Star, mummy.” How did she know that..?
So we spent a lovely evening reading the selection and I have to confess that I love them almost but not quite as much as she does, but possibly slightly less at time of writing than I did seven or so hours ago. How do I know this? Well, I’m fairly confident I can demonstrate how much she likes the books and why my enthusiasm for them is slightly dimmed.
I put her to bed at 7.30 and she wanted to read them all again: “please can I read the books in the living room with you?”
By 10pm when I came to bed, really tired, she was still awake! “I want the books mummy”
At 11pm when her daddy came home from a client visit: “daddy I want to come in the living room and read with you.”
At 3.45am, she fell out of bed onto the hard floor, something she has never done before. Through her obvious distress, she sobbed “I want the books mummy.” Her father and I shared a raised eyebrow. Surely she didn’t ..?
At 4.15am, having insisted she needed the toilet and daddy to take her: “I want to read TWO books…”
The CIA could learn a lot from this child’s methods and her willingness to capitalise on landing on her face from a foot above and the lengths she will go to to achieve what she wants.
At 4.35am, we read the bloody books.