Often sitting at the kitchen table after dinner Grace says, all done, I want a book, I want a book, I want a book... We ask her which one?
Then follows a long process of working out whether it's Hippos Go Berserk, Rupert or Elmo or something else on rotation on the shelf above the table. I want Rupert, she says.
And the the word we use when we want something is...? I say.
It's the magic word! she says
And it is...
In a sentence, adds Gerard.
I want Rupert, puhleeease!
On a good day one of us passes her the book and she reads and chats until I've finished my dinner and then it's stories and bed. Stories punctuate the day now. Mum reads to her, I read to her, Gerard reads to her and she reads to herself. And now the latest thing is that in the morning, she'll get in bed next to me and read mummy a story. And I thought Grace would never want me to read to her.
At the moment we're reading several varieties of Pooh Bear (and watching the Tigger movie), an excellent book by Mem Fox called Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild, referred to by Grace as the sorry book because it features a little girl who does naughty things and says she's sorry. Her mother doesn't like to yell but snaps after a long, hard day. Grace finds the whole idea of being naughty and being in trouble just absolutely fascinating at the moment. We're also reading a book about a little boy going to the toilet all by himself. One can hope. Whenever I talk to Grace about doing poos on the potty or toilet she laughs maniacally and says, oh no, no, no, no...
The reading is excellent though. One of the best parts of the day.