'She'll be able to read the Yorkshire Post soon and point out all its grammatical and spelling mistakes'
I'm learning to read again. Twice. As you may have read in this column on various, increasingly tedious, occasions, my eldest, Poppy, has been beavering away at her school books for the past two years. I'm far more au fait with the adventures of Biff, Chip, and Floppy The Dog then I ever imagined or wanted to be.
She's coming along fine. Thanks for asking.
The books are getting longer and the words more complicated now she's in Year 2.
Last week, she brought home a book about The Moon which was full of all sorts of interesting facts about lunar orbits, satellites and how they faked all the Moon landings in a secret studio in Skidby.
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I made that last bit up.
The point is, her reading skills are really starting to ramp up now.
She'll be able to read the Yorkshire Post soon and point out all its grammatical and spelling mistakes.
Most nights are now taken up with long and fraught battles deciphering words such as "eclipse" and "US Government conspiracy". We're getting there, syllable by syllable.
But for her little sister Tilly, four, the adventure with reading is only just beginning.
I know "adventure with reading" sounds like something a dreadful trendy text book populated by sexually ambiguous bears in dungarees would say, but she's enjoying it so much it's probably quite fitting too.
Now that my littlest oompa-loompa has a grip on most of the important letters, she's bursting with excitement to put her new-found knowledge into practice. Her latest book is called Pop! which, funnily enough, isn't a Cheryl Cole biography but a charming story about Chip, Biff and Floppy's attempt to make popcorn in a pan.
It is brilliant. Right up there with the other greats like Lord Of The Rings and War And Peace.
I sort of lost a little of my empathy for the characters in the middle section; when Biff puts the popcorn in the pan with the help from mum, but it rallies towards the end, on page eight, when Floppy snaffles the spare popcorn that's fallen on the floor.
I believe Brad Pitt and Pudsey from Britain's Got Talent are in talks for the movie.
It's a joy to listen to Tilly phon-et-ic-all-y spelling out the words, letter by letter – even if she hasn't quite grasped the concept of fusing the words together.
It goes something like this.
Biff is putting the popcorn in the "P. A. N. Er, dog?" says Tilly.
Biff is putting on the "L. I. D. Er, pan?" she'll continue.
Quite how anyone can spell out "D. O. G" and come up with the word "Mat" is beyond me. But she seems chuffed to bits with her efforts.
At least she is enthusiastic, which is something I never was when it came to homework.
Maybe her enthusiasm will rub off on me– I'll admit I'm intrigued what happened the time the dog visited the vet to earn him the name Floppy.