Recently I’ve started worrying that I don’t read enough to our daughter, helpfully adding to my already lengthy list of parenting guilt (much of it centred around excessive use of social media when I should be engaging with my children). I read to her older brother practically from the day he was born, but as a second child Lamorna has missed out on much of that one-on-one time. Although she’s usually around when I’m reading to Arthur she’s generally more interested in destroying toys, and I probably haven’t made enough of an attempt to involve her.
I don’t want to be blamed for failing to instil a love of books in Lamorna – I’m sure she’ll find enough to hold against me as she grows older. So since she turned one a couple of months ago I’ve been making a more conscious effort to find the time to read to her. And as I’ve been weaning her off a bedtime feed I’ve introduced a bedtime book instead. Our current favourite is Wow! Said the Owl, by Tim Hopgood. A friend gave it to Lamorna for her birthday and we are both enchanted by this story of a little owl who takes a nighttime nap so he can stay awake to enjoy all the colours of the daytime. Lamorna’s face lights up whenever we sit down with the book, she reaches out to touch the illustrations of the owl, and invariably wants me to read it at least twice.
With a very verbal three-year-old who engages so enthusiastically with books, sometimes reading to a one-year-old who isn’t yet able to follow a story or share her thoughts can seem a little, well, pointless. But Wow! Said the Owl has reminded me that, with the right book, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience, hopefully setting us on the way to many happy hours reading together.