ReadingThe Toddler has taken up reading. Which is to say she has taken up turning the pages of books, whilst narrating a combination of what she can see in the pictures & what she remembers of the story. ‘Baby…1,2,3…Bed…Sleep…Wake up…Peepo…Dog…Peepo…Grandma…
Glasses…Hat…Peepo…The end!’

The Toddler’s current favourite book is ‘The Gruffalo’. The Toddler loves ‘The Gruffalo’. Literally. She spends much of her time with her face inside the book saying, ‘Kiss a Gruffalo!’ The Toddler no longer gets out of bed until she has looked at ‘The Gruffalo’.

One day, when The Toddler is getting up, she asks to have both ‘The Gruffalo’ and The Baby in the bed with her. Silly Mummy warns The Toddler that The Baby will try to eat ‘The Gruffalo’ if she gets hold of it. The Toddler explains the situation to The Baby: ‘No, The Baby. No eat. This: Gruffalo! Read!’ The Baby understands. She puts ‘The Gruffalo’ in her mouth. The Toddler now follows every request for ‘The Gruffalo’ with, ‘The Baby can’t eat book!’ The Baby knows this is inaccurate. There are no books she ‘can’t’ eat. There are merely books people have been careless enough to leave in her reach, and books they have not.

The Toddler offers her reading services to those in need. She sits in bed with ‘The Gruffalo’ and teddy Binker. The Toddler announces, ‘Bink sad.’ She puts a blanket over Binker’s feet: ‘Tuck in. There – better. Read a Bink.’ She picks up ‘The Gruffalo’. She opens it. She pauses. She wonders if Binker needs to learn to look after himself. She closes ‘The Gruffalo’ and flings ‘James and the Giant Peach’ at Binker: ‘Bink, read this one, Bink.’ Binker looks at the book. He does not open it. He is too sad. The Toddler relents and opens ‘The Gruffalo’ again. Binker settles in for the story. He is not disappointed: ‘Where going brown mouse? Where going brown mouse? Where going brown mouse? LUNCH OVER!’

The Toddler wants to ensure she is well read. She therefore reluctantly puts aside ‘The Gruffalo’ and picks up ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’. Also known as ‘Purple Book’ and ‘George Story’, Daddy sometimes reads this book to The Toddler at bedtime. The Toddler turns the pages. She tells her abridged version of the story: ‘No, George. Stop it, George. Naughty George!’ Silly Mummy considers that this is actually a reasonable summary of the book. The Toddler may have a career writing blurbs ahead of her. (Assuming her first vocation of Planning Officer does not work out. The Toddler is a natural. All duplo constructions erected without the appropriate permissions are immediately demolished. Furthermore, should The Toddler see anyone contemplating starting a duplo construction without planning permission, she is on site immediately with a cease and desist order. Well, more of a snatch and yell ‘NO’ order, really, but the effect is the same. I digress.)

Some of The Toddler’s abridged versions of her books are more abridged than others. The Toddler brings ‘Each Peach Pear Plum’ to Silly Mummy: ‘Mummy – read! Pea Pear Pum – read! Sit down there!’ Silly Mummy dutifully sits down there, opens the book and prepares to read.
‘No!’ The Toddler snatches the book away, ‘Me read!’
‘You want to read it yourself?’
‘Yes!’ The Toddler opens the book to the first page. She says, ‘Ee Pea Pear Pum.’ It is a good start. We are all very excited to learn what happens next in the thrilling story we feel sure awaits us. The Toddler turns to the very last page. She announces, ‘End!’ She slams the book shut. ‘All gone! Take away!’

Really, this reading lark is awfully easy. The title and the end are the important things. After all, it is clear to The Toddler that if the book has been both started and finished, it stands to reason that the book has been completed. Everything in the middle is very much optional. The Toddler wonders why people complain about how difficult it is to finish ‘War and Peace’. Do they not know where the ‘end’ page is?


  1. Utterly brilliant. LOVED this post so much. My toddler loves turning the pages and chatters away to himself but yours is clearly destined for greatness. Such a grasp of the intricacies of books shows they’re a shoe in for a high flying publishing job at the very least. (Oh and we have a planning officer here too!) Thanks so much for linking this up at #sharethejoy and hope to see you again next week!

    • Silly Mummy says:

      Thank you for reading & lovely comment! She may need that job in publishing – I think her baby sister is after her planning officer position! Books may be a little short, though, with a random ‘the end’ slapped in when she gets bored! I will be back. #sharethejoy

  2. Alice says:

    My son used to rip and eat bits of his books. I say used to – I still live in hope that he will stop doing this soon 😀

    • RandomDave says:

      I’m informed that, as a toddler, one of my acts of defiance (there were apparently many) was to stare my mother in the face while removing books from the bookshelf and then tearing the covers off behind my back! Needless to say I’m extremely happy to have been blessed with two girls.

    • Silly Mummy says:

      Haha. The Toddler has given this a go too in the past – I’m still getting used to the fact that she can now (mostly) be left alone with paperback books & they will remain intact!

    • Silly Mummy says:

      Thanks for reading! I know! You have images of lovely reading sessions with your babies. Actually, it’s 18 months of them grabbing any book you try to read & chewing or tearing it, 2 weeks of lovely reading sessions, & then ‘No, Mummy, me hold! (flip, flip , flip) All done! Take away!’

  3. I love your posts, they really do make me smile. I would have loved to have seen you blog about my sons gruffalo obsession. It sounds like your toddler is having lots of fun reading which is fantastic.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

  4. becky says:

    Ahhh yes sounds just like our house! over and over and over and over and over…..But I wouldnt change a thing, at least they are interested in books hey!

    Thank so much for joining in with #ToddlerApprovedTuesday

    • Silly Mummy says:

      Yes, exactly, I would rather they be repetitively interested in books than not interested at all! Thanks for popping by & for hosting!

  5. Catie says:

    Ha ha the toddler is a natural perhaps she could revive Jackanory when she is older or with her organisational skills become a teacher! She is of course correct as the title and end are really all we need to know ? thanks for linking up with #fbfridaay

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