Every night at bedtime E asks for a story and four songs. Tonight the story is Charlie and Lola's Whoops! But it Wasn't Me for the five millionth time. Half-way into the book, I discover that I have developed a very useful new ability — I can read aloud convincingly without the words actually passing the barrier of registration in my brain - this frees up lots of cognitive capacity for important thinking. While the words coming out of my mouth might be, "I have this little sister Lola, she is drone, bla, bla, drone", the words inside my head fly to much higher planes: "Are there any chocolates left in the box? Maybe I could have just one when I go back downstairs. Did I wash Z's rugby strip for tomorrow or is it lying in a mouldering, muddy heap somewhere? Must go and check. There might even be more than one chocolate left."
The songs are a bit tricker because my reading skills are much more developed than my singing skills. E has eclectic taste in bedtime music. Tonight the requests are for :
1) The Lights of Lochindaal (because it mentions her middle name, Iona)
2) Brochan Lom (Gaelic mouth music)
3) Away in a Manger (a favourite, even in mid-summer)
4) Two Little Boys (I worry that perhaps this old Rolf Harris song glorifies war, especially after googling for that link and discovering that it is (was?) Margaret Thatcher's favourite song. If E ever joins the "ranks so blue" it will be my fault)
There were no chocolates left. And that's a good thing.