Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Bedtime stories

As I finish getting the last few Christmas presents for Lucas and Charlotte I notice that books are always on my list of things to buy them.  Whether its birthdays or Christmas I always use it as an excuse to add to their collection.

I don't think children can ever have too many books.  Lucas loves them and has done since he was really little, so he's never disappointed with this as a present - I hope this lasts! In a world with more and more technology (which, don't get me wrong I love) its nice to be able to hold onto something simple for them, don't you think?

One of the highlights of my day is story time with Lucas, right before bed.  Even on one of his more hyper days, as soon as we snuggle down in bed with his book of choice for that evening its amazing just how calm he becomes as he listens intently to the story and is transported into its world.  It might be the 100th time we've read the book but it still has the power to capture his attention which amazes me.

I love that books have also helped us introduce new things to Lucas and am sure it'll be the same with Charlotte.  Before Lucas's first trip to the Dentist I read him 'Topsy and Tim go the the dentist'. Rather than me try and explain to an 18 month old what the Dentist was all about and reassure him about the visit, the story brought it to life in a much more fun and interesting way and helped him understand.  We also used a fantastic story book when toilet training him, which was all about a pirate becoming a big boy and using the toilet.  Don't get me wrong, it didn't make toilet training plain sailing by any means but I'm sure it helped a bit.

With an overflowing book shelf in his bedroom, asking Lucas at the weekend what his favourites were could have been met with a lengthy response full of ummm and emms, but straight away he pulled these ones out and called them his favourites...

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • The Snail and the Whale
  • The Tiger who came to tea
  • Five minutes peace
  • The Highway Rat
I love that some of these were books I read as a little girl.  My all time favourites though were anything by Enid Blyton or Roald Dahl.  I can't wait to introduce Lucas to the likes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Twits in a few years time.  They are such wonderfully creative, mad stories which never date.

Since becoming parents both Mark and I agree that its so important for children to have books around them and be read to from an early age.  Charlotte has a couple already and is just mastering turning the pages and of course chewing all the corners (as I've said before, everything is a teething toy at the minute).  But as a lively 5 month old who tries her best to launch herself off my knee at any given moment its a bit of a challenge to read even the shortest of baby books to her at the minute.

What she does love though is when Lucas reads to her.  More and more I catch him, book in hand, reading his version of the story to Charlotte or even to our dog, Roxy.  He gets the jist of each story but tells it in his own way which is lovely to listen to as its sort of a window into his mind and how he's processed the stories we've read to him.

So as I squirrel away Charlotte and Lucas's new books for Christmas Day I'm already looking forward to sharing them with them and wonder if they'll be new favourites?  As much as I love Lucas's current favourites I'm hoping the new additions, come Christmas morning, will mean a break from The Snail and the Whale, even if only for a couple of nights!

What are you and your children's favourites?



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