7 things my children have learnt from books
Reading is of course, good for our children, we have heaps of books (my husband says I buy too many… can you have too many books?), but it is advisable to remember that they will discover things in the pages of those masterpieces which we had not anticipated… Such as…
- Mum, can we go poaching? (Danny, the Champion of the World – Roald Dahl) We need to take all the raisins and cut holes in them, put sleeping pills inside and then all the pheasants will fall out of the trees and we can eat them for tea… (Couple of problems … (a) we do not just have sleeping pills lying around the house, (b) we are vegetarians).
- Mum, can we do some jiggery-pokery on Dad when he gets home? (Karlsson on the Roof – Astrid Lindgren) Like what? I say. Well, we could hide all his right shoes? Jump out of the cupboard and scare him? Turn everything upside down?
- ‘Spliketydeutsch?’ – shouted loudly and at random strangers/bus drivers/elderly relatives (Paddington Here and Now – Michael Bond). Have tried to explain that we are Brits living in Sweden, therefore shouting random (badly pronounced) German at people is very odd indeed, but this goes totally over the 5 year old’s head and the 8 year old just sniggers every time he does it hence egging him on further…
- To the headteacher (when he was 3 years old, at a parents meeting) I’ve got cider in my bottle, I love cider. (Oh Lordy, I am thinking, surely this will warrant some sort of safeguarding referral). Later in meeting, he burps, headteacher says, poker faced, ‘Must be good cider’. (Fantastic Mr Fox – Roald Dahl).
- Thinking we are some sort of middle class family from the 1930s/40s/50s – and asking why we don’t have a housekeeper who can pack us up huge picnics on demand (Swallows & Amazons – Arthur Ransome; Famous Five/Secret Seven – Enid Blyton).
- Innumerable ridiculous insults and phrases which they will utter at random, in the middle of dinner, whilst on the train, or in the middle of a flight. ‘Poopsicle’ (Horrid Henry – Francesca Simon); ‘Fantastic bubbly crumbo’ (Batpants – Jeremy Strong)
- Expecting people to shoot backwards, whack their head on the wall and pass out if you shout ‘Expelliarmus’ at them whilst frenetically waving your arm in their general direction (Harry Potter (any one of the 7) – JK Rowling).
And, you know what, I love this stuff. Bring on the barmy words and the mad moments. Better than bloody Peppa Pig.