Reading on your play mat
By Freddy’s Dad
What I expected:
When I became a father for the first time I thought my main task would be to support my wife. I would have to make sure she had the best opportunity to raise my son, Freddy. How naïve I was.
I wanted to take an active role, and I did. Not only did I have to help with changing nappies, bathing Freddy, taking him for walks (to give my wife a rest), but my weekly duties around the house quickly changed and took shape. I was already the gardener and bin man but soon I realised I had to pick up other roles. I became a cook, shopper, part time cleaner and Dr Google support technician.
This became my weekly routine for the first year of Freddy’s life. This routine has transformed and so much more has been added. Yes, I know I should have seen this coming. But as my wife started reading to Freddy I recognised this was an important part of his development and subsequently, I had to take up another major role.
The Importance Reading…
Now, I am not a reader. Yes, I read the paper and internet articles daily but I could count on one hand, the novels I have read in my life. This includes high school, where I’m pretty sure, I watched the movie of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ so I didn’t have to read it. But maybe everyone does that.
So I started to read to Freddy. Each afternoon when I got home from work I would lay down on our playmat and we would read. Well I would read and he would poke, point and laugh as I trialled my various voices. Quickly, I recognised which books he liked and which books I could tolerate. Our afternoon on the play mat quickly became a favourite part of our day together although, mornings and evenings were not excluded from our reading adventures. I felt quite justified when I was reading a Courier Mail paper and an article mentioned the importance of reading with children, especially with their Dads. I was on to something.
Freddy is now talking and can hold a conversation with us. He even uses the word ‘conversation’. He continues to amaze me with his evolving vocabulary and I know the benefits of reading will help his development as he moves further in to childhood.
Dads, get out there and spend time with your babies! Read to them, have fun with the characters in the books, try new voices and maybe you will even become a better reader. I know I have! 😊