Tonight Prole1 is taking a break from ‘The Hobbit’.

He was finally convinced to start reading it by his teacher.
It has been on the bookshelf for ages now and has been by passed for two re-reads of the Harry Potter series.
My words of encouragement and reason were bulldozed aside by Prole1’s desire to read ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Lord Of The Rings’ back to back.
He wanted to read them in the correct order.
I tried to explain about Tolkien’s books, why he wrote them and who he wrote them for but in the end Prole1 wanted to read ‘The Silmarillion’ first, “to get the stories in the right order”, so I shut up.

Anyhow, he has just breezed through Mirkwood and Smaug just got shot by the Black Arrow and Prole1 has decided to take a bit of a breather because he found the Smurf Anthology.

He is now up there following the adventures of the Smurfs while the Battle of the Five Armies is on hold.

He actually negotiated extra reading time for this.

He argued that if they did not have a bed time story he could read for a bit longer.

I reluctantly gave in.

Wel I tried to sound as if I reluctantly gave in.

Truth be known, I kind of wanted a bath and perhaps to watch a bit of telly later and spending half an hour reading ‘Monkey Do’ to the Proles just seemed so…so not like relaxing in  bath or watching telly.

We read every evening together.

When I can be bothered.

This is quite often, we have tackled the greats together like ‘Goodnight Moon’ and ‘Moo Baa La,La,La’ which were in rotation until very recently.
We have followed the Little Red Train’s battles against road transport and the private sector.
We have tracked Thomas and his friends from surreal beginnings to techni-colour saccharine endings.
We have read enough of Julia Donaldson’s rhyming couplets. Enough.

We moved up to Winnie the Pooh, Prole2 grumpily telling me to “get on with it” while I was sobbing over the last chapter.
We have run with the right wing Dalmatians and punted with Mr Gumpy.
Roald Dhal has wandered in and out occasionally.

We have had a glorious run of books and books, the floor of my bedroom has been un passable on occasion with spent stories.

It was Christmas that put a spanner in the works.

It was Prole1’s teacher that did it.
He totally broke the spell.
I remember him saying “I urge you all to read to your kids every day, even a few words”

And I thought, hang on.

I have a choice in all this?

I might not read them a bed time story?

I was mulling this over as the holiday started.

We had a few late nights, a bit of a break from it.

The New Year started with a wobble and then the system broke down again when we went to visit friends at half term.

I found that sitting in a chair staring at the floor was quite an attractive prospect and some how we have been de railed.

It was like someone had said “I urge you not to eat cream cakes, even one a day”

Some sort of link to the future happiness of my children as well balanced and literate individuals had been broken

Now, suddenly I was a bad parent who does not read to his kids.
There seems to be no way back over the fence.
I was actively thinking tonight of ways to get out of doing it when Prole1 offered me a life line.

The Routine has been broken.

Never break the Routine.

Don’t mess with the Routine.

Don’t even think about the Routine if you don’t know what you are doing.

It will take me ages to fix this.

It’s not the parts, it’s the labour.

We have ‘The World of Winnie the Pooh’ up on the ramp and ready to go for a glorious second outing.
Prole1 is ready for a bit of nostalgia and Prole2 might hear all the bits he slept through the first time round.

There are clean sheets and fluffy pillows on the bed where the stories happen, it all smells faintly of lavender, childhood and joy.

The real work is in pushing my conscience  all the way back up the hill of apathy again and hooking it back up to the Routine and sparking the whole thing up.

I know I will enjoy it when we start.
I know the Proles will love it.
I know this is one of my opportunities to really give them some of the magic of childhood.

Believe me, I can hear Luther Vandross singing ‘Dance With My Father’ as I write this.

I am editing out the Casio keyboard solo and hoping none of my indie friends can hear of course.

I know I am talking about reading a bed time story but I always hear Luther Vandross singing ‘Dance With My Father’ whenever I think about the Proles looking back on their childhood.

Honestly if someone played Luther Vandross singing ‘Dance With My Father’ and then followed it with Trelawney by the Holman Climax I would be in bits for days.
My eyes are actually stinging at the thought.

Give me a minute.

Any how, yes, reading the Proles stories.

I probably should.

I just have to stop thinking about chocolate, telly, hot baths and relaxing.

Some things are probably more important than that.

Like their entire outlook on life in the future, or something.

Tomorrow night.

Winnie the Pooh, not Smurfs.