“Where are the penguins, mummy?”
The first question this morning when we charge into the living room in our usual Superhero-type, enthusiastic style.
Not aware of any favourite books featuring penguins, I say, “I’m not sure, my love. What penguins are they?” and wander sleepily into the kitchen to make the toast.
Behind me I hear some quiet counting… “One penguin, two penguin, three penguin, FOUR PENGUIN!”
My heart quivers and I want to run over and squeeze that adorable little creature. But I wait and watch.
“THERE’S the penguins, mummy!” And counts them again. A pause to deliberate one particular penguin. “What’s that one?”
I come over and kneel beside him. He points to a very faded penguin whose wings stretch to almost the edge of the spine, so thin is the book. I pull it off the shelf.
“It’s a book called Of Mice and Men.”
“Oh, OK. Read it to me.”
So that’s how I ended up at 6.30 on a Thursday morning, sitting on the floor, reading Steinbeck to a two-year old. I couldn’t for the life of me remember how the book starts so I opened the first page hoping it wasn’t TOO unsuitable for a toddler. In the end we only made it through a sentence or two before the toast popped up and the usual routine kicked in. But we had a wonderful fleeting moment.
All thanks to the power of the penguin…