H. always has a book on the go, anything from Harry Potter to advanced maths; he has broad tastes you could say.
Personally I wouldn't touch maths having comprehensively failed every maths exam I've ever taken. My mind scampers into the quiet, dark corners of my brain when a number comes into view and I'm as capable of calculating the area of my kitchen that needs tiling as doing the pole vault. So it's a good job I fell in love with a mathematician.
Imagine my shock, then, when I find myself absorbed in an economics book. It's called "Freakonomics" it's got a garish cover and it describes its author as a "rogue economist" who "explores the hidden side of everything" None of this would normally tempt me but H. would keep reading bits out loud...
All of the book is fascinating but just now with our attention fixed on grand parenting this was the chapter that was the most gripping: "What makes a perfect parent?" and before you prepare to whip yourself with the shame of bringing up your children the wrong way, don't bother because none of the following factors affect your child's test scores:
The child's family is intact
The child's mother works
The child attended Head Start
The child goes regularly to museums
The child is regularly smacked
The child frequently watches television
The child's parents read to him every day.
In essence then all the days I spent in museums, all the hours I spent reading to my children, keeping from vegetating in front of the TV didn't affect their educational progress at all whereas the fact that we're both university graduates, had our children slightly later than average and have masses of books did...
So I felt absolutely no guilt yesterday as I watched "Grey's Anatomy" with the baby on my knee.
(Don't worry, I'm not confusing parenting and grand parenting here. The baby spends many hours in my care as his mother works.)