Written by Siobhan Butel for her blog, Mum Malarkey – Pass The Wine Please

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One of the things that I was really looking forward to about having a child was sharing my love of reading with them.

What I failed to realise was that, before we get to the bit where we can snuggle up at bedtime with ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘Charlotte’s Web’, there’s THIS bit, where we have to read about dogs losing balls and  sheep that are crap at hiding. Over and over again. Every bloomin’ day.

Miss O’s current top picks include:

Fox’s Socks

Charming – the first 20 times you read it. Now, I’m really starting to lose patience with this guy:

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No wonder you can’t find them – it’s a bloody tip in there! Spend a little less time rhyming and a little more picking up after yourself and we won’t have to go through this sodding charade every day. And who only has one pair of socks anyway? You’re living in a prime piece of real estate full of antique furniture, with some kind of live-in mouse-maid tending to your every whim – surely you can stretch to a second pair??

And I’m sorry, but look at that alarm clock…I have absolutely no sympathy for someone who gets to sleep in until 10:00am.

Dear Zoo

If you’ve not had the pleasure, Dear Zoo is about a kid who bypasses Pets At Home completely and instigates some kind of ‘try before you buy’ scheme with his local zoo. So, they send over an elephant in a really solid-looking crate, a lion in a metal cage labelled ‘Danger!’, then a ginormous fecking snake… IN A WICKER BASKET! No warning sign, no ‘I’d think twice before putting your hand in there, fella‘, nothing. Perhaps the staff were getting a bit sick of the whole enterprise by then – I imagine that the postage alone was costing a fortune.

(Although I don’t blame him for sending this guy back…I bet the rest of the pride steered well clear)

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In the Night Garden: Everybody Loves Christmas!

As anyone who has been coerced into reading my CBeebies post will know, we have a bit of a love/hate relationship in our household with this motley crew (Miss O LOVES them, I think the world would be a much better place if they all climbed aboard the Pinky Ponk and sodded off somewhere else). In addition to spending every evening with them, I also get to scrape Igglepiggle stickers off the furniture every morning, stage elaborate dramas with the figurines, and read this seasonal classic countless times a day. In June.

I mean, what on earth is HAPPENING here??

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Are they being held up by the Feds? Bowing to their cult leader? Something else that shifty-looking characters get up to in deserted parks at midnight? I try not to think about it too much…

That’s not my… unicorn/badger/panda/Tequila

I don’t think it’s possible to be a parent these days and not have at least three of these lying about the place.  A couple of them have given me cause for concern though:

‘That’s not my baby – its mittens are too fuzzy’ – if you can’t pick your own child out of a line up without giving their gloves a quick once-over, you are going to be completely f*cked when summer rolls around.

And this:

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I’m sorry, what now???

Back away mate, you’re spending way too much quality time with your livestock (and don’t even get me started on what that creepy little mouse is up to).

And finally…

Last year, Miss O’s nursery very kindly gave each child a book as a Christmas present. Given the number of Incident Letters she’s received / times she’s been referred to as ‘a character’ (which I think is code for hoodlum), I can’t help but feel that this wasn’t a completely random choice:

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Which children’s books make you laugh/cry for all the wrong reasons? Tell us in the comments!