The Worst Sort Of Page Turner

The ratty old book was a present for Miss8 when she was two.
The ratty old book was a present for Miss8 when she was two.

I have been known to stick my heels in. That is to say, I can be stubborn.

And it seems Miss5 may be a chip off the ol’ shoulder.

“Not that story,” she said when I suggested yet another from a way too big book of bedtime stories. I flicked a few pages to one about monkeys. It looked fantastic. Only a couple of dozen words a page. “Not that one either.”

“This one then?” I asked her. It was a lady beetle story that looked even better than the monkey one. Even less words.


“You’ve got to pick one soon,” I told her, “or I’m just going to start reading and that’ll be it.” I’d just opened to a page with poem about liking eggs. It looked great. One page! And it included the words sausage, chips and toast.

“NO!” said Miss5, placing her hand on the page to stop me reading. She looked a bit panicked.

I knew this had nothing to do with her wanting the perfect story for bed and everything to do with not wanting to pick one that I suggested. But the alternative was to let her leaf through the entire 300 pages to see which one she liked best and I didn’t want to have to watch that. Besides, I was hungry now. I wanted to go cook sausages and eggs.

“You need to make a decision,” I told her. “I’ll count to ten. Seven. Eight. Nine. Te-”

“The one at the front!”

I turned a few hundred pages and we were back at the front of the book.

“This?” I asked my daughter after looking at her suggestion. There were a lot of words on the pages, but that wasn’t what bothered me.

“Yes,” said Miss5 smugly.

I looked at the pages again.

“You’re sure?” I asked her. “You definitely want me to read this and then you’ll go to bed?”

“Yes, Daddy,” said Miss5, making herself comfortable.

So tonight for their bedtime story I read the table of contents.

As I mentioned earlier, I suspect she gets this stubborn streak from me, and I would like to point out I have never made such a ridiculous ‘bite of my nose to spite my face’ decision in all my life.

But I can’t. So heaven help her too.

Miss3 modelling the pages I read them for bed tonight. Miss5 couldn't. She'd happily gone to sleep.
Miss3 modelling the pages I read them for bed tonight. Miss5 couldn’t. She’d happily gone to sleep.

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