Reading the riot act

My pilates teacher loves feng shui – all the yoga mats must be lined up just so – and hates mobile phones. So mine gets turned off during classes. When I switched it back on yesterday, I was inundated with messages from Husband, school and a friend. Sprog 2 was in sick bay. Could I go and pick her up immediately? I was a bit suss, she seemed perfectly fine when I dropped her at school. Quite buoyant. Verging on wildly exhuberant. How could so much change in such little time? Although I had been feeling a bit nauseous during pilates. I’d put it down to all that crazy hold-your-toes-and-rock business. But perhaps the left0ver chicken schnitzel I’d split with Sprog 2 over breakfast was to blame? When I picked her up, she stared bleakily at me and refused to speak above an inaudible whisper. I eventually gathered she was feeling a bit crook in the guts, with a possible sore throat. We drove home together in martyr-like silence. Her because I’d made her wait so long in sick bay, me because my day was being rapidly rewritten. We walked through the front door and I told her to slip into something more comfortable, then park herself on the sofa for a DVD festival. She skipped to her room in delight. Minutes later, she announced from the sofa that she was hungry and scarfed down her morning tea and lunch in front of Spongebob Squarepants. I retreated upstairs to seethe and search (yet again) for my old Cosmopolitan magazines, so I’d have some old feature stories to put on the blog next time I get writer’s block. Couldn’t bloody find them (yet again), but I did unearth a box of my childhood books: Anne of Green Gables, Nancy Drew, Swiss Family Robinson, a few Alfred Hitchcock mysteries, Mork And Mindy, Planet of The Apes … Ooooh, I thought, Sprog 1 is going to LOVE these. I staggered downstairs with them, eager to see the delight on her face. She walked through the door, gave them one disinterested glance, shrugged her shoulders and asked if we could go to the library. “I loved these books when I was your age,” I persisted. “I’m hungry, is there any birthday cake left?” she replied. Oh. Fine. (Not fine.) So didn’t she cop it when she discovered her Easter eggs in the pantry while searching for snacks. I went to town about how disappointing it was she’d ruined the little surprise I had for her. Feeling quite guilty about it now.

What were your favourite books when you were growing up? Would your kids love ’em or hate ’em?

8 thoughts on “Reading the riot act

  1. little house on the prarie series, tripods trilogy, anne of green gables series, famous 5, secret 7, nancy drew, TRIXIE BELDEN (oh, i wish i cld remember who i lent all 110 of those to!!! used to go to gardo every couple of weeks with my 95c to get the next 1!!! lol)… then teenage years, it became the ‘sweet dreams’ series & all those soppy ones that put u in training for ‘mills & boon’ (thank god i got ova that!!!)

    • There are soooo many things from childhood I was I knew where they went! Yes, I went through the Mills & Boon stage too – felt quite illicit secretly reading them in my grandmother’s garage.

  2. I remember waiting eagerly for the Scholastic Book Club order each month and saving up…other favourites were the Little Women series of books and The Secret Garden. Remember how Mr Niness used to let us borrow as many books as we liked over the Christmas holidays? I’d take home piles, and read 1984, Brave New World, and, regrettably, Coma and The Poisedon Adventure. Those last two mean I can never watch horror films or Titanic…

  3. I’ve been trying to get Hope to read Anne of Green gables for the last year or two. No way, she is into Percy jackson, Harry Potter and a host of other Now books

  4. I was a huge fan of anything by Enid Blyton. I’ve been reading the Magic Faraway Tree series to my littlies, one chapter a night, and they love the magic of it all, but I’m finding myself having to translate as I go. Not sure it’s the done thing any more for kids to describe everything strange as ‘queer’ and to get a good slapping if they do the wrong thing! So far they’re fairly content with the explanation that this was written in ‘the olden days’, although that does little for my self esteem!

    • The Magic Faraway Tree is my favourite book ever, and the kids love it too. I used to constantly daydream about being able to climb that tree and visit different lands.

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