Hugh is addicted to books. He’s become quite bibliophile and while I should be delighted (as a lover of books myself) this is not all I had hoped and dreamed it would be.
What started out as an adorable scene with little Hugh sitting and quietly turning the pages of his favourite books by himself on the playmat has turned into an all consuming obsession that needs constant feeding. Simply turning the pages is no longer enough. He needs the words, the story, the thrill of a plot he can’t actually understand to satisfy his needs.
This means that unlike the short lived “throwing balls” phase of March – June 2017, this reading books phase requires a lot of participation and effort from Mummy and Daddy. You can’t use one hand to throw a book while you finish your morning coffee or throw it to the other side of the room to get him to distract him while you finish hanging the washing. Nuh- uh, book phase requires attention and creativity. All.the.time.
The book obsession really kicked off with what Tim and I affectionately refer to as Ugly Wiggles Book. There was nothing majorly wrong with Ugly Wiggles Book. It just has a lot of words, a bit of an odd story about Dorothy the Dinosaur meeting Santa and to be honest he has a lot of much nicer, fun, interactive books. But Ugly Wiggles Book was by far and away the favourite. He could pick it out from a pile of books a mile away and wanted it to be read constantly. Over and over and over again. Poor Ugly Wiggles Book got such a work out it started falling apart but that still didn’t stop Hugh. He just started taking groups of random pages around, begging for them to be read to him. Pathetic really.
The final straw for Ugly Wiggles Book came on the weekend when Tim busted Hugh eating the pages. Dude. When you love a book so much you have to eat it things have gone too far. So Ugly Wiggles Book was carefully extracted under cover of post bedtime darkness and released back into the wild (the bin. We put it in the bin).
After Ugly Wiggles Book we had Wiggles Propeller Book. Much nicer illustrations and a fun little ‘lift the flap’ feature to keep things fresh but after reading that up to 8 times in a row for 3 days straight Wiggles Propeller Book is also taking a small holiday. As it hasn’t been eaten so far Wiggles Propeller Book is allowed to holiday in the cupboard and has not been ‘released’ to the bin. One day it might be put back on the reading circuit rotation but for now, for our sanity, in ththe cupboard it stays.
The lasted candidate for a cupboard vacation is a classic. An increadible children’s story by a well renowned author. I never thought I would say this but, Mem Fox, how many f%^ing pages does it take to find one goddamn green sheep? How many different types of sheep are there? Why are we looking for the green sheep anyway? I don’t understand and after the 4th time in a row my little Australian Literature Lover squeals and thrusts this book in my face/neck/mouth to be read again I am pretty sure the plot goes like this “sheep sheep sheep sheep, more sheep, green sheep, the end.” Repeat times infinity.
I do actually adore that Hugh loves reading and I think a love of books is an amazing thing for a child. But for our mental health I’m going send “Where is the green sheep?” to Club Med Downstairs Cupboard for a little while where it can relax, take a load off while Mummy and Daddy rote learn a new book by reading it over and over and over and over and over again.