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Moth was refusing to read.

He has a log book from school so that we can all track how he’s doing. The comments from teachers to date have included: ‘Had to have lots of support.’ ‘Needs help sounding words out.’ And ‘Needs to build his confidence.’

We parents are supposed to write in the log book, too. My feedback is usually something like ‘Blood out of a stone’, ‘Nightmare,’ ‘I blame the teachers’ or ‘Who needs to read anyway?’

One week, as usual, because we’re basically lazy and disorganised, and because Moth hates it, we left homework reading until last thing on Sunday night. Bed-time was not merely approaching: it had been and gone. Everyone was tired. I may have been getting snappy.

Preparing to lose the battle before I’d even started, I decided to give it one shot. When Moth handed me his chosen Mr Men story, I took a deep breath.

‘I’ll read to you,’ I said, sitting on his bed and wriggling my hips through the pyramid of soft toys until I hit the mattress, ‘But only after you have read to me.’ I handed him his reading book and braced myself for a blunt refusal.

I must have hit the sweet spot. Moth grabbed his reading book and read out loud, flawlessly, fluently and fast.

And then we read – guess what? Mr Impossible.

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