Back in 2013, my young daughter did not want me to put on any ‘voices’ when I read to her.
“Stop, Daddy – you don’t sound like you any more.”
“But that’s the point,” I’d say as she picked up a book. I’m not meant to sound like me. “What are we reading tonight?”
It was called something like Peppa Pig’s Daddy Is Made To Look A Right Nugget Again. To save my sanity, I slipped in voices from the TV show.
My Mrs Rabbit was okay. My Madame Gazelle was spot on and I did an uncanny Daddy Pig – basically lots of booming and chuckling. My Peppa Pig was woeful though – wrong pitch and tone.
“I told you – don’t do the voices!” she said, sounding exactly like Peppa.
Well, that was about 5 years ago. Over the intervening time, I have gradually cajoled my book-loving daughter into joining in. A word, a phrase…a sentence. A page! After a while she grew to like my grumpy Mr Gum…
My bewitching Winnie the Witch…
Even my dodgy Scooby-Doo… ‘Sh-raggy!‘
These days (nights?) it isn’t so easy to get reading time together. I have deadlines or maybe my daughter’s gone to bed VERY late…. So I say goodnight and leave her reading quietly to herself.
Three. Two. One.
“Dad! I need you,” yells a plaintive voice when I am halfway down the stairs.
I go back up and pop my head around her door. “What do you want?” I know what’s coming.
“A story.” I get the tried & tested It’s just one story look. Works every time.
“Ok. Just one.”
“We have to read it all – and do the voices.”
I nod and say, “Only if you turn the light out straight afterwards and don’t sneakily turn it on and read for an hour then complain you’re tired the next morning!”
“Okay, Dad. Sure thing. Pinkie promise.”
So nowadays we both take turns being the characters.
Such is life. You couldn’t make it up.
And if you do…
DO THE VOICES!
Alan Dapré is the author of the popular Porridge the Tartan Cat series.