it's the magic word!

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.


  1. Enjoy this stage...
    Now I have 2 kids who like to read in bed, 1 who'll read in bed occaisionally and 1 who'll only read if you staple a book in his hands. You're doing the right thing. Get the addiction happening when she's young!

  2. Oh yes, when I'm reading to the kids we all relax totally. It's magic. I don't plan on giving up on it any time soon!

  3. I think it's great that Grace is reading to you! So important to get them reading early.
    On a separate note, I got a package that made me feel so good today (I posted about it at and I wanted to "pay it foward". I know you've had kind of a rough time recently and I thought you might like to get some fun mail. I read that you are interested in getting into quilting and I have a book that I will never use. It's called The Complete Idiot's Guide to Quilting (not a comment on your skills, I promise!) There's nothing to do on your end - I just need your address. My email is If you're interested, just let me know.

  4. Reading with children (especially your own) is a magical experience, enjoy every moment of it.
    Love Grace and Grandma's matching shoes!

  5. We have a book called "The Potty Book", you can get it in a boy or girl version, and it was magic at the time. The silly boy uses it as a hat and a boat before he works out what to do on it, and then his mummy give him a big cuddle. It's very interactive as the child yells out "NO!" whne the story asks "Is it a boat?" etc. Love it.
    We're currently absorbed in graffiti, and the naughty people that do it. I think he's more in awe though, and is not quite towing the 'naughty' corporate line...

  6. For a long time when you asked Amy for the magic word she'd say abracadabra. Hilarious but not helpful.
    And Harriet is great, isn't it?

  7. oh lovely, i loved loved loved that stage :) enjoy :)

  8. I love reading to my kids, and Fixit hates it. He is not a reader himself. School holidays have been great because I'm not out teaching at night so I've been able to do it every night and it's magic.
    (Although, books on high rotation? Sometimes that is a little bit boring.)

  9. My sons loved 'Where the Wild Things Are.' and 'In the Night Kitchen'. Fabulous illustrations. Maybe considered old hat now as from the early 70s.