“The total area occupies 3,800 acres..” She listens intently. As I read an article about a solar farm in California, my daughter kicks excitedly, lifting her arms up as if surprised at the shear scale of the installation. “It generates 550 megawatts of power…” The dummy fell from her mouth.
I’ve discovered that reading a bedtime story needn’t be about farmyard animals or enormous crocodiles, it can be anything. I suppose this is only going to be the case up until a certain point, but as long as I read in a soft tone, she doesn’t care what the subject matter is. I like to think that by covering a broad range of topics it is going to encourage her comprehension of the world, and she will have a bigger pool of information in her life to influence her decisions.
Story time is for me as much as it is for her. Looking back to before she arrived, I would come home from work thinking I should catch up on some reading only to be stonewalled by a wave of tiredness or distraction. It was too easy to forgo the reading in favour of television and dinner on my lap or browsing the depths of the internet. Now I have a new found opportunity to read however. All those magazine articles, books I’ve bought or received as gifts, can now be read episodically every other evening when I take her to bed and read to her a bedtime story.
And so, as I read the conclusion of the article about plans to expand the solar farm to produce a further 750 megawatts, her excitement and interest wanes, as her eyelids droop to a close.