‘Easily distracted, poor concentration and short attention spans’, is how a 4 year-old child has described his parents, regarding the provision of bedtime reading at their Surrey home. Pre-school nipper Jack Poulter has requested an OFSTED inspection to assess the quality of service and to determine if Nanny and Grandad should be appointed. Key targets had been set at the start of the year with reference to animal sound identification, parental voice lucidity and syllable recognition, but none of the underlying objectives had been fulfilled – a state of affairs he described as ‘eroding the bedrock of literacy’.
‘The threat to storytelling is very real,’ said Jack, ‘I’ve told mummy and daddy to keep smartphones OUT of my bedroom, but they disobey me and then get upset when I force them to handover SIM cards. How can I possibly enjoy ‘The First Hippo on the Moon’ if Mummy’s phone is beeping all the way through it? Who cares about Sharon’s Candy Crush requests, my intellectual development is more important, dammit.’
‘The final straw was when daddy started snoring after really butchering a lion voice,’ moaned Jack. ‘I was so upset and wanted to scream “this is not a bloody dress rehearsal. This is the real thing!”. The only future I can see is that my Captain America themed bedroom will be going into special measures.’