Reading at the table

reading makes your eyes go funny

Reading is becoming a breakfast issue.

Over the remnants of her cereal and toast, we’re hearing comments like this, from Hannah.

“Will you all sssshhh, I can’t read with all this racket!”

Now that she can do it well enough to enjoy it, and can get through proper books (albeit ones with sparkly kittens and fairies on the covers) she won’t stop.

Instructions like – “time to brush your teeth and get your shoes on,” fall on deaf ears.
And while I’m used to setting off for school without Ben, leaving him to catch up before we reach the busy road, I’m not used to having to harangue Hannah into compliance.

“I haven’t finished!” she yells at me, as if it’s my fault time won’t wait for her to reach the end of a chapter.

“The clock doesn’t stand still while you do what you want to do,” I point out.

“Stop saying that!” she retorts, her nose still in the book, where the Magic Kitten or the Indigo Fairy or Mandy from Animal Ark are facing some all-important crisis.

I’m pleased she enjoys reading, and I’m glad she enjoys it enough to want to do it anywhere and everywhere, but it’s made us late for school two days running now and I think I’m going to have to ban it at the breakfast table.

Which seems a little unfair, as Mike and I read the papers, and she’ll be the first to point out this anomaly if I ask her to save reading for later in the day.

And then there’s the issue of quality.
All I can say on that is – thank god she’s reading them herself now and I never have to grit my teeth through another Rainbow Fairy/Weather Fairy/Pet Fairy book at bedtime.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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4 Responses to Reading at the table

  1. Beta Mom says:

    Oh my gosh – my alter ego’s child is my child’s alter ego!
    How awful do I feel that we’ve had to enforce a “no reading before school” rule for exactly the same reasons! It makes me feel like a bad mum for not reinforcing a wonderful habit – however we’re late more often than not because Beta Boy’s got his nose in a book!

  2. Tracey says:

    Bizarre, isn’t it. You get no sympathy from teachers and other parents because what wouldn’t they give to get kids to read, read, read. And here you are COMPLAINING!! But don’t worry, see- you’re not alone – I too have had similar problems. All three of my girls love reading, and all have gone through phases where it becomes an issue. (Mostly it’s just catching them reading too late in bed now..) While I feel like a hypocrite too (http://crazytrace.blogspot.com/2007/09/insidious-addiction.html) because sometimes I can’t control my own reading – we wonderful parents who have wonderful reading children just have to be tough. Reading may be good for you, but there’s still the case for ‘too much of a good thing’ being bad for you.

    No reading before school unless you’re ready and waiting! As for the ‘how come you’re reading the paper at the breakfast table?’… “‘Cos I’m the Mummy, that’s why.”

  3. Potty Mummy says:

    I use that ‘Because I’m the Mummy’ line all the time too, Tracey. And I have to say, BM, that I’m really not looking forward to yet another ‘something’ being my fault when Boy #1 doesn’t get to finish his preferred breakfast reading before school…

  4. Beta Mum says:

    BM – a bizarre parallel universe seems to be happening across the pond.

    Trace – “get ready first” may be a good place to start, and if that doesn’t work, we’ll go for an outright ban.

    PM – Everything is my fault, especially when tiredness is making them crabby.

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