Dad Speak: Reading the Room


There was a time when I thought every moment was going to make a dramatic impact on my kids’ lives, even when it came to bedtime stories. Reading to our kids seemed to come naturally to my wife, but my internal monologue went something like: Don’t mess it up, take it seriously, their future depends on it!

There I was, faced with the one moment of the day when I could get my own focused cuddle time and I needed to seize it!

Then I discovered books by Sandra Boynton. 

Boynton’s books cannot be read seriously. They won’t let you. You can’t help but find the rhythm of her words and start creating little songs, or funny accents, or wild intonations. They invite you to find your silly. They definitely helped me to find mine. Aside from the books being quick (which allows for a generous offering of “5 books tonight!”), they encourage you to let go and lean in.

Pro tip for new readers: Start by creating a voice for the animal on the page. The beauty is, your toddler will never tell anyone your accent sucks. Yours will be the best they’ve ever heard.