We’ve all been there, done that and got the t shirt when it comes to making silly bedtime story mistakes. Some more than others *coughs, Beta parent, but it’s very easily done right? Hell has no fury like an over tired tot, and sometimes out of sheer fright we get backed into a corner and stuff like this happens.
After a million pleases, giving in to the littles and agreeing to read ‘the scary’ story at lights out. On a Sunday night. When it’s actually already officially past bedtime. In my case, I stupidly agreed to read Roald Dahl’s The Witches. It all started out fine, until I turned a page and Little Button got an eye full of the grand high witch. Big mistake! That’s all I can say. Big mistake!
Speed reading, like lightning, in an attempt to get through bedtime as quickly as possible so you can get downstairs to catch the rest of Casualty! Nope. This does not work. In fact. It does the opposite of what you are trying to achieve. The littles will call your bluff, call the Alpha parent for fear of something ‘being wrong’ with you, and you will have to start all over again. Slowly. Extra slowly. Bye bye Casualty.
Reading like a monotone sulk-face. Because reading the same book at bedtime, every bedtime, for a few weeks can get very, very painful. You now know the story inside out and actually don’t even need the book anymore as you have completely memorised it. Including the front and back covers, just to give you something extra to do. Monotone reading is by far the worst crime to commit when it comes to bedtime story reading. Just don’t. Apart from annoying the hell out of well, everyone, it doesn’t set a good example at all. #DontBeTheFunSucker
And on the flip side. Being over animated, just for the sake of it, can be just as bad. There’s a difference between doing the voices and OVER doing the voices. Again, in desperation that story time ends, your over hyped up voice is likely to do one of 3 things. 1. Send the little ones into a frenzy so they can’t sleep. 2. Grind on everyone within earshot. 3. Have the little ones yelling for Alpha parent because they think you have clearly ‘gone mad’ now.
Second only to monotone sulk-face reading, is in fact, the foolish parent that skips pages. On purpose. Because the little ones will always notice. Always. And sometimes they will go along with you. Just to see how far you will go. Don’t’ be fooled into skipping more pages, because you will pay for it at the end of the story. Little one to Alpha parent ‘I think some of the pages must have fallen out of the book because the story that daddy/or mummy just read didn’t make sense. Can you check it?’ I would suggest that you run for cover… about now. Or at least pretend you are busy doing something useful.
Why is it that when you are running behind with everything, and, it’s way past bedtime, the little ones will pipe up and offer to read YOU a bedtime story instead. It’s the moment you have been waiting for all week and yet, why now, for gawd sake. On the inside you scream into your inside pillow nooooo, whilst composing a calm look of ‘well done you, yes of course I would love you to read me a bedtime story today’ across your beaming face. Don’t even think about frowning, asking them to do it another day or trying to hurry them through the pages. Because they may never offer, so willingly, again if you put them off reading this time round. #GoodLuck
And finally, never abruptly stop reading when your little one finally closes their eyes, especially if you are doing any of the above. Closed eyes do not always equal a sleeping tot. For some gawd-knows why reason, the sudden departure of your voice can ruffle the ‘drifting off’ one into a fully awake state within seconds. Once you spot the victory ‘closed eyes’, start turning your voice down, slowly. Never stop reading. Just let your voice disappear off into the distance and hopefully they won’t notice you have stopped reading as they finally let go and drift off to sleep.
Happy bedtime story reading.
This post is part of #Blogtober18.