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The Lovely Young Man (I’m reviving nicknames of yesteryear for Batman) and I were both children of The Trade (academia) and it has influenced our Dragon-rearing in a few ways.

We take the statistical view about a lot of things, from Dragon’s pasta benders (67% of his total caloric intake) to the amount of damage leaving him weeping at nursery will do (0.00000427798% of his entire life). We talk about work, a lot.

We read very ambitious bedtime stories…

It was kind of started by my dad, who read me Grapes of Wrath, Great Expectations and The Scarlet Letter.

We hadn’t really intended to start it quite as soon as we did. LYM started reading to Dragon to keep him quiet while I was brushing my teeth before the bedtime feed when he first came home. I found myself hanging out in the doorway, brushing as quietly as possible. When this became a bit deleterious to my dental health, we started reading stories (of our choosing) seriously.

Now of course, Dragon has his own ideas about what stories he wants to listen to, but we always finish with Family Stories. I have to say that it’s completely changed my opinion about Dickens (who is vastly improved by being read aloud in short segments) and soap operas (I find myself worrying throughout the day about what’s going to happen next to the characters we’re reading about). I’ve also discovered a few authors who I couldn’t get through as a child (Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens).

We’re currently reading Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson, a particularly lovely charity shop find, and I’ve got a list as long as my arm for future reads.

What’s your favourite unusual bedtime story?

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