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The last read of the day

In the news last week was the results of a survey that found only 1 in 30 fathers read their children a bedtime story. The rest are too busy to do so. Only 3% said that they easily found the opportunity to do so and the rest of those said they found it a struggle because of time pressures and busy lifestyles.

The survey of 2000 parents across the UK was conducted to help promote the new children’s television show Bookaboo being shown on CITV. I’ve not seen it yet, but plan to catch it soon.


Anyway, I was staggered by this amount and initially outraged at how many fathers sacrifice time with their children for busy lifestyles etc… Then I stopped a while and had a think.

Milo’s dad has an hour, sometimes an hour and a half commute home each day. While Milo is so small he is just about getting back in time for his bath time and final feed of the day. However, as we gradually move Milo’s bedtime earlier, it is unlikely that his dad will make it back to read him his bedtime story.

Thinking about this obviously upset me a lot. My own dad used to read to me almost every night (he only worked round the corner) and my mum would read to me during the day. Much to my mum’s annoyance I can only remember the special time that I had at night, snuggled up in bed reading with my dad. He’d been at work all day, smelt of wood chippings and the outdoors and he would read to me until I fell asleep with the stories whirling around in my head. The Reluctant Dragon most nights as we liked that one (there was some editing – the dragon often stopped for a jam sandwich). He would also make up stories, mostly about cowboys – he’s a big Spaghetti Western film fan.

The Reluctant Dragon

I can’t help but think that this time with my dad in the evenings really impacted on me and my life. I grew up loving books, always associating them with  fun and not the hard slog that my school seemed to make reading out to be. It’s all a bit sad really. There will be weekends of course and times when his dad is home from work also… but it just won’t be the same for Milo. He’ll have to put up with me at bedtime!


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