END TO NEVER-END­ING STO­RIES

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - b Mi­randa Murphy is a mother of three and a jour­nal­ist at The Aus­tralian. Fol­low me on Twit­ter @mur­phymi­randa

AF­TER nine years and hun­dreds of per­for­mances, I sim­ply can­not bring my­self to read The Gruf­falo aloud any more. I love this book but I’ve done it over and over, on the de­mands of my three kids.

I’m putting my arm around its pur­ply-prickly back, look­ing into its orange eyes and say­ing: “Lis­ten Gruf­falo, we’ve had a good run, but it’s time to call it quits.”

Surely we’ve all got beloved chil­dren’s books we just can’t stand to de­liver any more. The bear hunt can go on without me. Spot and Clif­ford are in the dog­house.

They start out so de­light­ful. Your young child lights up at bed­time as you bring in their favourite story — some­thing about a honey-ad­dicted bear, or a home-in­vad­ing tiger, or a delin­quent rab­bit.

You read it, with all the bells and whis­tles. ‘AGAIN,’ cries your kid. How sweet! You go again, quicker this time. ‘MORE.’ Hang on — you’re be­ing played.

The next night, you sug­gest a dif­fer­ent story — per­haps about a cater­pil­lar with poor di­etary judg­ment. ‘NO! I want THAT one!’ And so be­gins weeks of read­ing the same damn tale.

Some­times you skip pages to speed things up. No dice — the kid is an in­ter­na­tional ex­pert on this book by now.

You’re also un­der strict in­struc­tion to do all the voices to Academy Award­win­ning stan­dard. You’re stuck un­til the night your darling child sud­denly, in­ex­pli­ca­bly finds that story to­tally lame.

Care­ful what you wish for, though. Now that my youngest is five, he has moved on from talk­ing trains to dross like Ninja Lego Trans­form­ers: The Book Of The Movie.

Some­times we out­source the story-read­ing to his older sis­ters, and it’s nice when they pull out a much-re­peated pic­ture book. But don’t get me started on movies. If I am forced to find Nemo one more time, he’ll be on the menu.

mi­randa murphy @mur­phymi­randa

Mi­randa Murphy is a mother of three and a jour­nal­ist at The Aus­tralian

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