About bookandbed

I'm a parent. I work. In between conference calls, navigating bits of essential technology peripherals nestled within little piles of 3 people's mismatched socks and lists to contact long-neglected people I used to fall out of bars with, not that long ago, I try ever so hard to read a bit. I joined a book group. Sometimes I even go. I'm a rare ex-Londoner who likes the commute to and from work. I'm not that keen on the bits that are dependent upon getting TO the station, but once I'm there, out comes any one of a number of devices that crucially Kindlemeup... Let's be honest, it's not going to be much of a blog based upon my daily literary intake. I do, after all, have 2 fairly intensive full-time jobs. But, I do have a now 4 year old daughter, with whom reading was not the easy, snuggly time I thought it would be. Parental anxiety rattled around my brain like a rusty old penny in a glass jar and "we don't read together enough" was my fixation. Nobody told me it would be like it was and my fellow NCT owners all seemed to have happy little book-lovers, content to turn the pages slowly and with interest. My daughter is a wonderful, smart and very funny child, but the above was not in her repertoire. The blog started as a tool to help me help her future and is now a record of our efforts and development as parent and child. Nobody gives me books to review, as if. I buy them all.

Reading to understand 

I once knew a bright, but troubled guy who said “I love reading because I get to have a conversation with everyone who ever lived and expressed themselves through their writing.” 

This article expresses to me the importance of literature in learning to know and live yourself  and then the wider world. Which reminds me, I must return to reading in school, next term. Because, this. 

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/dec/02/literature-teaches-us-to-understand-the-other?CMP=fb_a-culture_b-gdnculture

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Friendship

Our Fridays have turned into a Chinese takeaway night. (Sorry for the impact this has on our town’s obesity stats.) 

Monkey face loves to go in with her dad and help with the order. She’s usually got a book with her. The friendly lady behind the counter has a child who’s read some of the same books and they’ve started a little friendship. 

Last week, as she was leaving the shop, MF proclaimed: “so it IS a real friendship. And all because of Wimpy Kid! Thank you, Jeff Kinney.” 

Teaching Humanity

I can’t bear to even look how long it’s been since my last post. Due to overcommitment and sleeplessness, I no longer even aim to blog. 

However, when I read what follows, I wanted to share this lovely message from children’s author and illustrator, Anna Dewdney, who sadly died on Saturday. I still, somehow, manage to get into my daughter’s school to read with some of the children there and I think Anna’s words sum up why I believe it’s so important, despite my clear capacity bottleneck: 

“When we read with a child, we are doing so much more than teaching him to read or instilling in her a love of language,” she wrote. “We are doing something that I believe is just as powerful, and it is something that we are losing as a culture: by reading with a child, we are teaching that child to be human. When we open a book, and share our voice and imagination with a child, that child learns to see the world through someone else’s eyes.”

Dispatches

The monkey was poorly, yesterday and so devoured her Mr Men boxed set…

TheBen, meanwhile, has just graduated to dragging the Boden Christmas catalog around with him, squealing with delight. I know just how he feels.  

 

If at first you don’t succeed…

I met up socially with my daughter’s old nursery teacher a couple of days ago. Whilst we didn’t speak much about the Monkeyface, one of the teacher’s first sentences to me was “I hear the Monkeyface is doing fantastically with her reading…” It’s true, she is. 

Later that day, another friend came over to try figure something out on WordPress with me (I know, that’s funny, right… My blogging is now so intermittent I’m almost a born-again interweb-Virgin.) The two things happening on the same day made me realise, with a jolt, just how much the Monkeyface has achieved. When I think how hard it was to read to her as a baby, how difficult I found it. What a failure I felt. And then to get her to read.!  Looking back, it just takes a heap of tenacity and time (which back then was In short supply!) look at her now! She’s a voracious reader, with a reading age almost double her age. Just yesterday, she read 8 books. 8! She’s 5! 

Part of the difficulty with blogging is that, well we just aren’t able to read as many books with her these days – because she’s the one who wants to read! That’s insane. Well, actually, perhaps not. 

I’m so jealous of her intake.