MUM’S THE WORD: Childhood loves being rekindled

Kate and Nancy Chapman
Kate and Nancy Chapman
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I’m not sure who can claim the title of biggest kid in our house at the moment – me or Nancy! But since her arrival my love affair with all my favourite childhood characters has been rekindled.

I can’t deny I’m a little disappointed she hasn’t become attached to a particular toy or character yet – as several tots I know have a favourite teddy which they dutifully carry everywhere they go; but on the up side I suppose I haven’t had to endure the heartache of when said toy goes AWOL.

But nevertheless if Nancy isn’t going to form an attachment, then I’ve taken it upon myself to do so for her. And I have opted for a classic one rather than the likes of today’s fly by nights such as Iggle Piggle or Teletubbies. I never gave it a second thought as to whether she would like Winnie The Pooh or not – although I defy you to find a child that doesn’t and unfortunately for her she isn’t going to have much choice since her bedroom is covered from top to bottom with the hunny-loving bear.

So, you can imagine how thrilled I was when one of her Christening gifts was a beautiful hardback book containing the complete collection of adventures by AA Milne – more than 300 pages of poems, stories and pictures of Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and the rest of the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been indulging myself by reading it out loud to Nancy, although she’s not really into sitting still for story time yet. She happily runs round the room, returning every so often to try and rip the pages or to have a quick look at the pictures while I get lost in the world of Heffalumps, Woozles and Pooh Sticks.

I was familiar with one or two of the stories and knew a few from various cartoon and film versions but have to admit I’m thoroughly enjoying reading them right from the beginning; they are absolutely enchanting and are just as much for adults as they are for children. If you haven’t had the chance to read them I couldn’t recommend another book more.

So if I’m really honest with you the whole exercise is for my benefit rather than Nancy’s. But I’ve always had the reading bug and hope to instill the virtues of enjoying a good book in her as she grows up. Again, she hasn’t got much choice as we’ve got the complete works of Beatrix Potter to get through once Pooh is finished and then some Tales from Bramley Hedge too!

Enid Blyton was always my favourite when I was little and I’m pretty certain my collection of Famous Five books (all 21 of them) is still floating about in the attic somewhere – and I can’t wait to relive those and share them with her too.