One of my fondest memories from when I was little is being read to before I went to sleep. My mum has told me that she used to try and skip through some pages on nights when she was tired and although I couldn’t read, I’d memorised the words to my favourite books so I knew when she’d skipped a page. I hope Lucas doesn’t pick up that particular skill! She used to read all kinds of books to me but I think more importantly that time she spent with me before I went to sleep was when I used to confide in her. I’d usually tell her if anything was bothering me or if I was anxious about anything in school or with my friends. Even up to my teenage years, long past bedtime stories I used to talk to her the most just before I went to bed. It’s the same now; if something is on my mind I’ll chat to my husband about it at bedtime. Talking a problem through usually helps put my mind at ease and helps me get to sleep.
Although I read Lucas a bedtime story for the obvious educational benefits I also believe that having that quiet time together will help in the future when he might want to have a chat but hadn’t been able to find the time during the day. We started reading to him when he was very young as part of his bedtime routine and it has paid off now as he sits quietly through his story before bedtime and helps to turn the pages. As he gets older I’m hoping he will start to pick out his favourite books to read. Some of his preferred reads at the moment include Where’s Spot, Mog and Me, Dear Zoo and Peepo. I love that spell before bedtime when he is all clean and snuggly from his bath and he is happy to sit still and be cuddled; this is a rarity throughout the day. I hope that this time will be just as important to him as he grows up and he always feels like he can open up to me or his Dad and we’ll help and reassure him as best we can.