The Proof of the Pudding

When life throws up its saddest times, you find yourself reflecting in the quiet moments and one of the things I’m most grateful for, is the impact my mum has had as a parent in my early years. In the 70s entertaining your wee one was up to you, so my mum went about her day singing to me. I’m told when I was not much past one, we could rattle off ‘The Big Book of Nursery Rhymes’ from cover to cover.

When I was a little older, the highlight of my mum’s week was when she went into Woolworths and there was a new Ladybird book to buy. She loved the rhyming stories most, and we read ‘Tootles the Taxi’ until the pages fell out of the book.

We discovered Dr Seuss when I was about 6 and must have borrowed ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ at least twenty times over. I remember she drew pictures from the book and my wee brother and I having ‘Who’s from Whoville’ stuck on our doors.

My love of Dr Seuss passed onto my children. My son’s favourite story from ‘The Sneetches’ involved ‘a pair of pale green pants with nobody inside them’ and my daughter could read ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ from cover to cover before Biff, Chip and Kipper had long featured in Primary One.

The point of this wee stroll down memory lane … I am the proof that what you do as a parent makes the difference. All those times my mum read rhyming stories impacted and gave me a much-treasured love of words, rhymes and writing for children. I’m no Julia Donaldson, but the yeti-verse is ever-expanding, with many other stories and ideas waiting to be shared.

Through me, she influenced the next generation by sparking my love of sharing stories with my children (especially if they rhyme). If I’m lucky enough to have grandchildren, the thought of making stories magical for them is something I can’t wait to do! 

What you do as a parent matters. Each nursery rhyme or favourite story has purpose – what you put into your children in their earliest years leads their strengths and passions and can ripple through generations.