Before I had kids, I imagined a cozy scenario: Children, all clean from the bath and in soft jammies, snuggled up on my lap while they are enthralled by my fabulous story-telling skills before toddling off to bed.
The reality of the situation is slightly different. Oh, sure, the kids are in their pyjamas and I -- of course -- do an awesome rendition of Green Eggs and Ham, but they aren't necessarily snuggled up on my lap....
Tonight, for instance, Eldest Child and Middle Child were engaged in a pushing war, fighting over the prime territory of my legs. Baby Child noticed the action and literally dove into the fray. Cue more shoving with a bit of screaming thrown in.
The trouble is, Middle Child likes to hold his face two centimeters away from the book. Eldest Child likes to point at each word to read along (while Middle Child talks over her efforts by saying "Okayokayokayokay!!"), and Baby Child likes to blow raspberries onto each picture. You can see the difficulty, right? There just isn't enough room for everyone. They love story time, though. I have to yell over the fracas, hold the book away at arms length (and sometimes even weave it back and forth to avoid Grabby McGrabberson GrabHands), negotiate who gets to turn the pages and/or flip the flaps.
The kids race to the bookshelf for more books when the story ends. They moan and complain when I tell them story time is finished. The reality is, my kids love reading with me and I'm happy to oblige.
...Just give me a minute to catch my breath.